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US Marshals Plans to Auction 3,813 Bitcoins seized from Criminals

Jan 12, 2018 Posted /  8053 Views

US Marshals Plans to Auction 3,813 Bitcoins seized from Criminals

In a fresh round of announcements by the U.S. Marshals on Thursday, the agency said that it plans to have another online bitcoin auction on January 22. As per the details provided in the announcement, there will be a six-hour auction in which around 3,813 bitcoins will be sold off in, which roughly accounts for $50Mln USD as per the recent figures. These bitcoins have been seized from various criminal case

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The online Bitcoin Sale

The U.S. government is yet again selling bitcoins and this time it is a considerably big sale and the agency expects to complete the auction in a six-hour time period. Further, the U.S. Marshals (USMS) detailed in the latest press release that the sale will be a “sealed bid auction” and this will approximately be done for 3,813 bitcoins. The release said that participants who are looking to purchase these particular bitcoins would first have to initiate a security of $200,000 USD. The USMS announcement clarified

“These bitcoins were forfeited in various federal criminal, civil and administrative cases.”

Additional details specify that this sealed bid auction for approximately 3,813 bitcoin will be 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).      
  • The Bidder requirements

It has been circulated that the interested parties in addition to $200K deposit will also have to register with the USMS first. Also, numerous documents are to be submitted, and the USMS will assess all the applications and then determine if they are eligible for bidding or not. The necessary list of documents also includes filling out of the bidder registration form, a photo ID, the $200K deposit which must be derived from a U.S. bank, and a copy of an EFT transmittal receipt.

Next set of instructions state that bidders who succeed in the block auctions should pay all cash, and the amounts have to be paid in USD. The instructions also specify that in addition to the bank transfer, the USMS will not transfer 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.

While the sale of 3,813 bitcoins is very big as the current spot price of bitcoins account for $50Mn is huge, we need to remember that the agency sold 50,000 coins in 2014 for $373 per coin. That USMS bitcoin sale only seized a total of $18Mn US Dollars, which included majorly the Silk Road bitcoins. These Bitcoins were mostly bought by Tim Draper and the firm called the Second Market at that point in time. We will need to find out that who will buy them at the current price levels as the bitcoin prices are fluctuating a lot.

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