U.S. Government to Auction $37M in Confiscated Bitcoin on Feb 18
The U.S. law enforcement officials plan to auction more than 4,000 bitcoins (approximately $37M) on Feb 18, 2020. According to the news, the federal law enforcement agency, United States Marshals Service (USMS) will do the auction for confiscated bitcoins. The official announcement states, the authority is planning to sell approx 4,040 bitcoins. However, that participant will require a $200,000 deposit to take part in the auction.
When asked by the press, the USMS said it will return the deposits to non-winning bidders, promising to initiate the return of losing bid deposits within five business days after transferring bitcoins to the winning bidder.
The Marshals Service held its first bitcoin auction in the summer of 2014 where investor Tim Draper wins nearly 30,000 BTC across 10 auction blocks. Several other auctions, including more coins seized during the U.S. government’s investigation into the now-defunct dark marketplace Silk Road, have been held in the years since. The most recent took place in late 2018.
According to data from Coin360, the total amount of the auctioned bitcoin is worth around $37.4 million. Further, the agency explains that the Bitcoin for the bid seized in various federal criminal, civil and administrative proceedings.
Bitcoins’ Bidders to Pay $200,000 & Sign Up for the Auction before 18th Feb 2020
According to the official USMS website, bidder registration is open from 3rd Feb to 12th Feb. However, the online auction will take place on 18th Feb. The auction will start at 8.00 AM EST and ends at 2.00 PM. And, the announcement of the winners is scheduled to come at 5.00 PM EST. But USMS may take some more time to announce the winners based on the number of bids received and the complexity of the review process.
Similar to previous auctions held by USMS, the upcoming auction will be divided into parts. Specifically, the bitcoin auction will be separated into series. This month’s auction will see four blocks. 2,500 BTC, 1,000 BTC, 500 BTC and 40.54069820 BTC respectively. The USMS will notify all bidders about their eligibility to participate in the auction by email by the end of 13th Feb.
In January 2018, USMS sold over 3,800 confiscated bitcoins before announcing a 600 BTC bid in October. Multiple governments have called auctions for confiscated bitcoins to date. In Feb 2018, the United Kingdom and Ireland-based auction house Wilsons Auctions hosted their first Bitcoin auction. Again, the South Korean government has announced previously its plan to auction 216 bitcoins in 2017.