Australia set to auction off bitcoin stash as Chinese demand propels the price higher

Billy Bambrough
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Bitcoin Value Soars And Drops
The price of bitcoin is notoriously volatile (Source: Getty)

Australia is going to sell off £7.5m worth of bitcoin it confiscated as “proceeds of crime” during 2015.

The auction will be the first of its kind outside of the US.

Separately, the price of bitcoin has jumped over the last few days after a surge in demand out of China.

Read more: Ethereum's value is already up 1,100 per cent this year

The Australian government has recruited accounting giant EY to sell the 24,518 bitcoins. The auction will be conducted via a 48-hour sealed bid auction beginning at 12.01am on June 20.

Bidders are able to submit bids on 11 lots of 2,000 bitcoins and one lot of 2,518 bitcoins, and can bid on multiple lots.

The price of a single bitcoin has climbed to £368 over the last four days, up by 20 per cent from £310 just at the end of last week.

Read more: Members of the European Parliament voted to introduce a bitcoin regulator

The sudden rise breaks a relatively long period of calm for the price of the cryptocurrency. Over the last six months the price has remained steadily around the £300 mark.

The price rise has pushed the market value of all bitcoin in circulation to £5.66bn.

Beijing has been working to curb trading in the decentralised currency, though has failed to prevent exchanges from operating so far.

Read more: Craig Wright won't prove he's Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto

Two Chinese exchanges, Huobi and OKCoin, now account for a massive 92 per cent of global bitcoin trading.

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