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Australia to sell $13M bitcoins confiscated as proceeds of crime

In this April 7, 2014 file photo, a man arrives for the Inside Bitcoins conference and trade show in New York. An Australian man long thought to be associated with the digital currency Bitcoin has publicly identified himself as its creator. Canberra says it will auction $13-million worth of bitcoins seized as proceeds of a crime. AP

CANBERRA, Australia — An official says about $13 million in bitcoins will be auctioned in Sydney in June after Australian police confiscated the digital currency as proceeds of crime.

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Ernst & Young transaction partner Adam Nikitins said Tuesday that the accountancy firm is running the process, which is only the second such bitcoin auction in the world after the U.S. Marshals Service sold 144,000 bitcoins over two years ending in 2015 that had been confiscated from Ross Ulbricht, who founded the online drug bazaar Silk Road.

Bidders can register from Wednesday until June 7 for the 24,518 bitcoins on offer. The 48-hour sealed auction will take place from June 20.

Based on Tuesday’s bitcoin price of $533.80, the cryptocurrency is valued at almost $13.1 million.

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