In an announcement dated February 3, 2020, the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) – a federal law enforcement agency within the U.S. Department of Justice – stated that it would be auctioning more than 4,000 Bitcoin (BTC).
USMS to Auction 4,000 BTC
Federal law enforcement agency USMS recently stated that it is mulling auctioning close to 4,000 confiscated Bitcoin. To be able to participate in the auction, bidders are required to deposit $200,000 with the federal agency. The agency said that it will return the deposit to unsuccessful bidders within five business days after handing over the BTC to the winning bidder.
At the time of writing, 4,000 BTC costs approximately $37.4 million. The agency cleared that the BTC being auctioned off was seized in various federal criminal, civil, and administrative proceedings.
A Hefty “Entry Fee”
The compulsion to pay a $200,000 refundable deposit is introduced by the agency to ensure that only legit bidders participate in the bidding process. Interested bidders can register for the auction from February 3 until February 12, 2020.
The actual auction will be held online and is slated to take place on February 18, 2020. USMS stated that it is planning to conduct the auction from 8:00 AM EST until 2:00 PM EST on February 18. The winner of the bid will be declared at 17:00 EST. The agency, however, stated that it might take additional time to announce the name of the winning bidder if the number of received bids exceeds expectations.
Akin to the previous BTC auctions held by the USMS, the February 18 auction will also be divided in several parts. The BTC auction will be divided into four separate categories – 2,500, 1,000, 500, and 40.54 BTC.
Notably, this is not the first instance of Bitcoin being auctioned by a U.S. federal agency.
BTCManager reported in March 2018, a similar digital currency auction where the USMS auctioned Bitcoin worth approximately $25 million at the time.
Elsewhere in Europe, BTCManager reported last year how Irish auctioneer Wilson Auctions had stated that it would be auctioning close to 315 seized Bitcoin in an online public sale.