San Francisco - A US venture capitalist has won a US government auction to buy the horde of bitcoins seized by law enforcement when closing down the clandestine trading site SilkRoad.com, federal authorities announced Thursday.
The government posted the 30,000 bitcoins June 26 for sale and received 63 bids, The New York Times reported.
The FBI shut down SilkRoad.com in October 2013, accusing its operators of drug trafficking, computer hacking and money laundering.
The seized bitcoins valued at around 19 million dollars on Thursday, according to their market price, but it is unknown how much was paid by the successful bidder, venture capitalist Tim Draper. Draper won the auction in conjunction with bitcoin exchange Vaurum.
Draper said he would use the bitcoins to promote use of the digital currency as a development tool in places such as Latin America and parts of Asia.
"Bitcoin frees people from trying to operate in a modern market economy with weak currencies," he said.
"With the help of Vaurum and this newly purchased bitcoin, we expect to be able to create new services that can provide liquidity and confidence to markets that have been hamstrung by weak currencies."