The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), the country’s oldest federal law enforcement agency, signaled yet another online auction of over 3,800 bitcoin — worth over $50 million — slated for January 22, 2018. The USMS, which acquired the assets through seizures from multiple criminal investigations, estimated it will finish the auction in six hours. The event is the first after its previous bitcoin auction in 2016, where it sold off 2,700 BTC.
In a press release, the USMS informed the event to be a “sealed bid auction” to sell off 3,813 bitcoins. Participants will not be able to alter the bid once confirmed. Moreover, bidders will not have the facility to view other bids.
“This sealed bid auction for approximately 3,813 bitcoin separated into three series: Series A (five blocks of 500 bitcoins), Series B (five blocks of 100 bitcoins) and Series C (one block of approximately 813 bitcoins). You will not have the opportunity to view other bids. You will not have the opportunity to change your bid once submitted.” explained the USMS.
Bidder Participation Requirements
In order to participate in the auction, prospective bidders will have to register and provide multiple documents that include a bidder registration form, legal photo identification (government issued), a deposit of $200,000 USD and an Electronic Funds Transfer transmittal receipt.
Moreover, all submitted documents will be assessed by the agency and approved if eligible. Registered participants will be informed by January 19th, 2018 if they are eligible to take part in the auction. The deposit amount shall be refunded if ineligible.
Winners of the auction must then pay the full value of the sale in cash directly to the U.S. Marshals Service.
Marshals: No Obscene or Hostile Foreign BTC Addresses
It explained the conditions for the winning recipient’s 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.”
So, bitcoiners, forget that clever plan you had to troll the federal government by making them pay to a dirty-word vanity address.
Although the forthcoming auction will be a big event, it is not the highest number of bitcoins the Marshals has auctioned in one go.
These particular coins were seized from multiple criminal investigations. In the past, the USMS also auctioned BTC seized from the dark market Silk Road and its accused admin, Ross Ulbricht.
From those seized tokens, the service sold off 50,000 in 2014. Tim Draper, a venture capital investor, purchased most of the digital assets — at a price that seemed hefty at the time, but which now looks like a bargain.
Generally, these auction events attract attention from many bitcoin enthusiasts and venture firms. However, the $200,000 mandatory deposit could rule out many potential participants.
Is auctioning bitcoins a good move knowing the price have escalated to the moon? Let us know your thoughts in comments.
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