US Marshals Accidentally Reveal Identities of Anonymous Bitcoin Auction Bidders

June 19, 2014 | Sophie Weiner

During the US Marshals’ silent auction for the $18 million bitcoins seized in the government raid of Silk Road, the US government proved they can completely screw up even the simplest of online tasks. They revealed the identities of 40 anonymous bidders by CC-ing instead of BCC-ing contacts in an email.

The email in question wasn’t even that important — a simple announcement to bidders that there was now an FAQ link on the auction page. TechCrunch warned that “these 40 bidders now know each other’s identities, so they may leak.” However, some of their identities have leaked already via the email screenshot which TechCrunch blacked out on their site. The names are out there, and they’re all very wealthy individuals, which may explain their need to figure out what this whole bitcoin thing is about before they threw a bunch of money into it.