Will the venture capitalist (VC) winner of the Silk Road bitcoins keep them or use them?
The VC winner of 30,000 bitcoins auctioned by the FBI wants to use them to strengthen markets "hamstrung by weak currencies".
VC Tim Draper yesterday revealed himself to be the winning bidder of the entire $17m haul of bitcoins seized by the FBI from illegal online drugs marketplace Silk Road last year.
But famous investor Draper may funnel the majority of his new-found treasure into one of his investments, a new Bitcoin startup called Vaurum, which describes itself as a Bitcoin exchange for financial institutions.
Its CEO, Avish Bhama, was the one to break the news that Draper won yesterday’s auction, and Draper’s statement suggested the company would take control of the bitcoins.
Draper said: "Bitcoin frees people from trying to operate in a modern market economy with weak currencies. 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.
"Of course, no one is totally secure in holding their own country’s currency. We want to enable people to hold and trade Bitcoin to secure themselves against weakening currencies."
Vaurum’s own statement said: "We will be partnering with Tim to leverage the pool of 30,000+ bitcoins as a liquidity source."
The bitcoins were seized by the FBI last October, and its suspected operator, Ross Ulbricht, was charged in February this year.