Australia is set to auction confiscated bitcoins worth approximately $11 million, auction organizer Ernst & Young (EY) confirmed on May 30.
The company was tasked to facilitate the international sale of about 24,518 bitcoins amounting to about A$16 million. Such sale is the first of its kind in Australia and the second one outside of the United States, after the U.S. Marshall Services performed several in 2015.
The bitcoins are considered proceeds of crime and EY was asked to work in behalf of a client whose identity remains unknown.
The transaction will be held via a sealed bid auction, which will run for two days. It will start on June 20 at 12:01 a.m. AEST and will close on June 21 at 11:59 p.m. AEST.
Participants are allowed to submit bids on 11 lots of 2,000 bitcoins and a single lot of about 2,518 bitcoins. They may have the option to bid on one or numerous lots.
"Interest in this technology continues to grow," says EY's Adam Nikitins. He explains that since 2012, transactions involving bitcoins have quadrupled and groups are seeing more uses and windows of opportunities for this technology.
Nikitins says he expects the upcoming auction to be participated mostly by people coming in from Europe and North America. However, with the increasing popularity of the technology, this would surely be an international affair.
Nikitins also pointed to the likely participation of such people as digital asset managers, investments banks and hedge funds who have had experiences working with bitcoins.
As each lot of bitcoin is priced at more than A$1 million (approximately more than $720,000), EY is targeting high-end investors who see value in this rising digital asset.
Bitcoins: What Are They?
Bitcoin is a digital payment system used in Internet transactions. The technology is manipulated by its users and has no middleman or central authority manning the transactions.
In August 2014, U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued an advisory that warned consumers about the risks entailed in such virtual currencies.