If you've always wanted to dabble in cryptocurrency speculation but you were just waiting until you could acquire some Bitcoin that you knew was FOR SURE used in digital drug deals, I have some good news for you: the United States Marshals Service is auctioning off 50,000 Bitcoins seized from Ross Ulbricht's personal computer.
The time since the last auction highlights how volatile the cryptocurrency is: Since Draper bid when Bitcoin was worth more money, he gained around $US17.7 million dollars' worth. Now, 50,000 Bitcoins are valued at a substantially lower total.
Another key difference between the two auctions: During the first one, the Marshals explicitly barred people acting on behalf of Ross Ulbricht, who at that time had not been convicted, from bidding. This time, Ulbicht has agreed to auction the Bitcoin, and there's no need for such a caveat.
We won't find out who is walking away with the dirty digital treasure chest of Dread Pirate Roberts until March 6, when the auction closes. Spoilers: It's somebody crazy and also rich. [Ars Technica]