The Marshals Service confirmed that it
accidentally released the names in an email to update interested
parties on the auctionís guidelines.
"The U.S. Marshals Service inadvertently sent an email today
revealing the email addresses of people who had submitted
questions about the Bitcoin auction to a general USMS mailbox
that had been created for the auction," Lynzey Donahue, a
spokeswoman for the U.S. Marshals, said in an emailed statement.
"The USMS apologizes for this mistake which was in no way
intentional," the statement said.
The news was first reported by the New York Times, citing a
report from CoinDesk, an online website devoted to Bitcoin.
The U.S. government said last week it plans to auction about
30,000 bitcoins, the electronic currency, valued at about $17.4
million, on June 27 the U.S. Marshals Service said.
FBI seized the bitcoins during a raid in October on the Internet
marketplace Silk Road, known as a hub for transactions involving
illegal drugs and criminal activities.
The seized bitcoins are part of the civil forfeiture and
criminal action brought against Silk Road owner Ross William
Ulbrich and the assets of Silk Road, the U.S. Marshals Service
CoinDesk has a list of people who inquired about the auction,
including Fred Ehrsam, the co-founder of Coinbase, a Bitcoin
payment processor, the New York Times said.
(Reporting by Tanvi Mehta in Bangalore; Additional reporting by
Narottam Medhora and Ankit Ajmera; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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