The US is planning a major auction of about 4,040.5054069820 BTC on February 18. This revelation was made by the US Marshal Service, which is the federal agency tasked with public actions for crypto assets seized by federal agencies.
Details On The Bitcoin Auction
According to the official announcement, the USMS wants those interested in the sealed bid auction to submit their bids for purchase. To participate in the auction, the minimum amount required is $200,000. The auction will be carried out in four stages.
The first stage will consist of five blocks with each block having 500 BTC. The second stage will be divided into 10 blocks of 100 BTC each, the third stage will have 10 blocks of 50 BTC each, and the final stage will consist of one block of 40.54069820 BTC. Bidders will not be able to see other bids and they will not be able to change their bid amount once they submit their bid. At the current price, the BTC is worth over $37 million. As you can see from the chart below, Bitcoin price has most recently surpassed $9,600 levels.
How To Take Action In The Bitcoin Auction
To take part in the action, you have to register with the USMS and submit all the requested documents plus a deposit. Registration for the bids opened on February 3 and closes on February 12. Those who win will be retained while the unsuccessful bidders will have their money refunded to the original accounts.
According to the announcement, winners will be notified by 5 PM EST on February 18. However, it might take longer than that due to the complexity of the process and the number of bids sent. To be eligible to receive the funds, those who succeed must wire the funds to the agency by 2 PM EST on February 19. If he or she does not, the person will be disqualified and the BTC will go to another bidder.
Source of the Funds
The USMS announcement says that the funds came from various federal civil, criminal, and administrative cases. Various federal agencies were involved in the cases including the IRS, FBI, HIS, USCBP, and the DOJ.
The first time the federal government held an online auction for seized crypto assets was in 2014. At the time, they auctioned 130,000 BTC, which were worth $50 million at the time. One of the most notable actions was for 144,000 BTC that federal agencies seized from the Silk Road marketplace. In 2015, the agency conducted numerous auctions during which they sold about 174,000 BTC worth about $67 million then.
The USMS established an MoU with the Treasury Executive Office for Asset Forfeiture. In the MoU, the agency will be responsible for auctioning of BTC seized by federal authorities and held by the Treasury Forfeiture Fund.
In 2018, the agency declared that it had sold 5,883 BTC in total auctions for $55.8 million. It said that it was the lead custodian for 22 crypto assets seized by the Department of Treasury and the DOJ.
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