The U.S. Marshals announced on January 11 that the agency has plans to have another online bitcoin auction on January 22. The six-hour auction will see the sale of 3,813 bitcoins ($50Mn USD) seized from various criminal cases.
A Six-Hour Online Bitcoin Auction
The U.S. government is selling bitcoins again, and this time it’s a fairly sizeable USD sale that the agency hopes to finish in a six-hour timeframe. The U.S. Marshals (USMS) explain in a recent press release that the sale will be a “sealed bid auction” for approximately 3,813 bitcoins. Participants looking to buy these particular bitcoins have to initiate a deposit of $200,000 USD.
“These bitcoins were forfeited in various federal criminal, civil and administrative cases,” explains the USMS announcement.
This sealed bid auction for approximately 3,813 bitcoin separated into three series: Series A (5 blocks of 500 bitcoins), Series B (5 blocks of 100 bitcoins) and Series C (1 Block of approximately 813 bitcoins).
Interested parties not only have to cough up $200K but they are also required to register with the USMS. Multiple documents must be submitted, and the USMS will review all the applicants to see if they are eligible bidders. The required documents include filling out the bidder registration form, a photo ID, the $200K deposit must derive from a U.S. bank, and a copy of an EFT transmittal receipt.
Bidders who win the block auctions must pay all cash, and the amounts have to be paid in USD. In addition to the bank transfer, the USMS will not send the bitcoins to a publicly known bitcoin address.
“The USMS will not transfer bitcoins to an obscene public address, a public address apparently in a country restricted by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), a public address apparently associated with terrorism, other criminal activities, or otherwise hostile to the United States,” explains the law enforcement agency.
The January 22 Auction Will be a Big Sale But Not the Most Bitcoins Sold by the USMS
While the sale of 3,813 bitcoins at a current spot price of $50Mn seems like a lot, the agency sold 50,000 coins in 2014 for $373 per coin. That USMS bitcoin sale only captured a total of $18Mn USD, and most of those Silk Road bitcoins were purchased by Tim Draper and the firm Second Market.
What do you think about the U.S. Marshals selling 3,813 bitcoins? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via Pixabay, and the U.S. Marshals Asset Forfeiture page.
Author: Jamie Redman
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