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Remember, Remember the 5th of November, Gunpowder Treason … And an Auction Lot

Michael Hudson
20 November 2015

On the 5th of November 2015, while the rest of England fixated on firework-lit skies commemorating the capture of Guy Fawkes, we took part in an event of a vastly different kind. An event that closes the book on a contentious aspect of Bitcoin’s early history. And one that afforded us the opportunity to bolster our bitcoin investment by 2,500XBT.

Slightly more than 2 years after being seized, the United States Marshals Service (USMS) auctioned off the final 44,341 bitcoins confiscated from Silk Road. And we entered a bid for 4,500 of them.

Why Bitstocks Took Part in the Silk Road Auction

Financial Gain

Naturally, one of our primary drivers was the opportunity to acquire a large volume of bitcoin at a competitive rate. In the weeks leading up to the auction the bitcoin price rallied, breaking its 2015 ceiling several times over the period. Since then we’ve seen a slight, albeit expected drop, but the rate remains 3% higher than its 2015 start, and a good indication of a medium to long-term stabilisation.

Sentimental Participation

Silk Road played a significant, but controversial role in the early history of bitcoin. While we certainly don’t promote or encourage any illegal activity - most especially funded by bitcoin - no-one in the industry can deny Silk Road’s impact. Its existence, exposure, and elimination dominated media headlines, contributing to massive awareness and widespread adoption of bitcoin. 

The October 2013 FBI sting resulted in a total of 144,000 coins impounded from Silk Road, with the initial 100,000 liquidated in two separate public auctions held in 2014. While Silk Road will forever be embedded in Bitcoin’s story, this final auction represented a closure of sorts. And we wanted to play a role in closing the door on the saga, and proactively contribute to moving the industry forward.

Trusted Transparency  

We believe that trust is built on transparency. Our clients are fully aware of - and take comfort in - the fact that we personally invest heavily in the precise product we promote. We’re long-term players and these coins add to our long-term investment strategy in bitcoin - the exact approach we advise our clients.

Global Partnerships

Bidding at the auction was limited to businesses and individuals who bank in the United States, and being London based we needed a partner we could trust to bid on our behalf. This gave us an opportunity to broaden our international network and we were thrilled to work closely with itBit to safely and successfully secure our coins.

So while we may have missed a few fireworks, our acquisition at the auction represents our strategy at play. And with our bitcoin wallets topped up for the long term, we look forward to entering the New Year with a bang!

photo credit: P8205908 via photopin (license)

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