Next week, the US Marshals will auction-off the $18 million or-so worth of Bitcoin that the FBI gained when it seized the online black market Silk Road. It turns out, however, that it's not just the usual coterie of geeks and libertarians who are interested in a piece of Russ Ulbricht's action. A list of "interested parties" was inadvertently leaked by a careless Marshal, revealing that major financial institutions could be battling Bitcoin exchanges like Coinbase and SecondMarket in the fight for a portion of the hoard.

The US law enforcement agency took great pains to point out that the list of prospective bidders, which are required to drop $200,000 into escrow before June 27th, but merely people who had asked questions about the auction. That said, the recipients list included senior figures at French bank BNP Paribas, as well as investment funds like Matrix Capital and DRW Trading Group. Of course, it's not the first time investors have gambled with Bitcoin -- the Winklevoss twins own a significant stake in the cryptocurrency -- but perhaps this is a step on Bitcoin's road into polite society. Hell, it might even attend the same email etiquette classes that at least one US Marshal will be sent on in the next few weeks.

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US Marshals accidentally leak list of Silk Road Bitcoin bidders