The list of interested parties, which also includes Luther Lowe, the director of public policy for Yelp, may not be complete. Notably absent is Pantera Bitcoin, the new virtual currency fund that has backing from investors including the investment firm Fortress Investment Group.
Pantera is participating in the auction, according to Dan Morehead, who founded Pantera Bitcoin’s parent company, Pantera Capital, in 2003.
Mr. Lowe said that he had inquired about the auction as a “private investor,” and not on behalf of Yelp, according to an update to Coindesk’s story.
United States Marshals office seized the 30,000 Bitcoins when it shut down Silk Road, the now-defunct virtual currency marketplace that federal prosecutors accused of facilitating drug deals and other illicit transactions.
The coins are currently worth about $18 million, and represent less than 1 percent of the roughly 13 million currently in circulation.
Some virtual currency enthusiasts have raised concerns that the Marshals’ auction could affect the value of the digital money, especially given that Bitcoin has fluctuated wildly since it was first introduced in 2009.
But Mr. Luria, the analyst, said he did not expect the price of Bitcoin to change significantly after the auction.