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    Australia to sell confiscated bitcoins

     

    Bitcoin is a digital currency that allows people to buy goods and services and exchange money without involving banks, credit card issuers or other third parties. 

     

    An official says about 13 million U.S. dollars in bitcoins will be auctioned in Sydney in June after Australian police confiscated the digital currency as proceeds of crime.  

    Based on Tuesday's bitcoin price of 533.8 dollars, the cryptocurrency is valued at almost 13.1 million dollars. 

     

    The move came after the U.S. Marshals Service sold 144,000 bitcoins over two years ending in 2015 that had been confiscated from Ross Ulbricht.

    Ernst & Young transaction partner Adam Nikitins said the accountancy firm is running the process, which is only the second such bitcoin auction in the world.

     

     

    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.  

     

    Bitcoins also can be bought and sold on exchanges with U.S. dollars and other currencies. Their value has fluctuated over time. At its height in late 2013, a single bitcoin was valued above 1,100 dollars.