EY engaged to assist in the sale of $16m in bitcoin in Australian first

Monday 30 May 2016

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EY has been engaged to commence an international sales process to sell approximately 24,518 bitcoin1 representing approximately $16m AUD.

This will be the first bitcoin sale process of its kind in Australia and the second globally following the US Marshals Service conducting several sales during 2015.

EY Transactions Partner Adam Nikitins said EY had been engaged to act on behalf of the undisclosed vendor to sell the bitcoin which was confiscated as proceeds of crime in 2015.

The sale will be conducted via a 48-hour sealed bid auction beginning at 12.01am AEST on 20 June 2016 and finishing 21 June 2016 at 11.59pm AEST. Bidders will be able to submit bids on 11 lots of 2,000 bitcoin and one lot of approximately 2,518 bitcoin. Bidders are able to bid on one lot or multiple lots.

“Interest in this technology continues to grow. The number of bitcoin transactions since 2012 has quadrupled and parties are seeing more opportunities and uses for the technology,” Mr Nikitins said.

Mr Nikitins said he expected interested parties would predominantly be located in North America and Europe, but given the increasing popularity of bitcoin this would be a truly global sale.

“With each lot of Bitcoin currently valued at more than AUD$1m, we are targeting sophisticated investors who can see the value of investing in a growing digital asset,” he said.

Mr Nikitins said he anticipated interest would come from digital asset investment managers, digital currency exchanges, and investment banks and hedge funds who were experienced in dealing with bitcoins.

Interested parties can submit their interest in participating in the sealed bid auction via email at project.exchange@au.ey.com. Expressions of interest close on 7 June 2016 with interested parties required to submit additional information by 10 June 2016.


1Bitcoin is a digital asset and a payment system invented by Satoshi Nakamoto, who published the invention in 2008 and released it as open-source software in 2009. The system is peer-to-peer and transactions take place between users directly, without a specified intermediary.

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This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young Transaction Advisory Services Limited AFSL Licence No. (ABN: 87 003 599 844); Australian Financial Services Licence No: 240585, a member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited.