Neither the bid amount or the identity of the buyer was revealed, although the details of the transaction itself are visible on the blockchain. A total of 45 bidders participated in the auction, including a number of well-known bitcoin companies and investors. Details about the failed bids have been few, although several participants reported lower-than-spot-price bids. The Marshal Service claimed that a total of 63 bids were received on the 10 available blocks of 3,000 bitcoin.
As expected, speculation has been rampant about the possible identity of the winning bidder, and the price paid to ensure 10 winning bids. Almost every imaginable person of wealth (Richard Branson is a possibility, for instance, given his interest in bitcoin), known bitcoin investors operating quietly (such as the Winklevoss twins), and even the Federal Reserve has been proposed as a possible buyer, although no evidence exists to support such claims.
The list of losing bidders may be even more interesting, however. While it is still possible that a well-known party in the bitcoin community won the auction, many well-known and presumably price savvy parties collectively representing hundreds of millions of dollars failed to win. This hints at a huge pool of potential buyers in bitcoin’s future. As Pantera Capital CEO Dan Morehead wrote on Twitter:
"Supply creates its own demand". So true when it's the US government auctioning #bitcoins. We saw strong demand from new investors.
— Dan Morehead (@dan_pantera) June 30, 2014
Due to price action and speculation around the bitcoin auction, the winner may already be reaping the benefits. The value of the nearly 30,000 BTC cache has risen considerably since the bidding ended on Friday, rising from roughly $17.5 million to $19.2 million today.