US Marshals office to auction off nearly $37.5 million in seized Bitcoin on February 18th.
On February 18th, we will see a sizable Bitcoin auction. With more than 4,040 confiscated Bitcoins held by the US Marshals Service the total value of the BTC that is up for auction exceeds $37.5 at current trading prices. Bids will open and close on February 18th.
According to the US Marshals Service, the exact number of Bitcoins to be auctioned is 4,040.54069820 and they will be auctioned off in blocks of varying amounts, depending on the series in question. To take part in the auction, the minimum buy-in is $200,000.00.
The US Marshals Service has planned for four series, each seemingly aimed at different types of buyers. Series A of the auction will have five blocks. Each of the five blocks will total 500 BTC. Series B will have twice the block count, but each will be considerably smaller at 100 BTC. Like Series B, Series C also consists of ten blocks, but each of the blocks in Series c will have 50 BTC. The final block, Series D, will auction off the remainder of the Bitcoin which will amount to 40 and change. An important note about the auction rules is that bids cannot be changed once submitted.
To become a bidder, there are some necessary steps to be taken. The initial step is to register with the US Marshals Service. Once registered, the US Marshals Service will request several documents from bidders. Documents will pertain to identification, residence and citizenship information, and financial records.
The deposit of $200,000 must also be made before the bid can be placed. All bids must be placed using cash deposits, such as bank transfers, as the US Marshals Service has stated that it will not accept credit and other forms of payment for the deposits of the Bitcoin auction.Registration for bidders begins on February 3 and remains open until February 12.
According to the US Marshals Service, all deposits for unsuccessful bids will be credited back to the same accounts used to deposit the money. In the event that a bidder wins, the $200,000 buy-in is added to the overall price of the purchased Bitcoin.
On auction day, February 18, 2020, all bids will be accepted between the hours of 8 AM and 2 PM. The US Marshals Service has informed bidders in an announcement that it is their intention to notify the winners of the auction within three hours of the auction closing. The USMS has also acknowledged, however, that due to the large volume of bids that are expected, the window for notifying big winners may be extended past 5 PM, February 18.
Once a winner has been selected, US Marshals Service must receive payment for the winning bids by 2 PM, February 19. Should a winning bidder fail to provide payment for bids placed, that bid will be voided and the next bidder in line will then be selected.
As with many other government auctions of seized property, the BTC in question here was acquired by the US Marshals Service through legal proceedings involving several government agencies including the DEA, the IRS, the FBI, the HSI, and the USCBP.
This BTC auction on February 18 will not be a first for the US Marshals Service. The first auction for BTC took place in 2014. That inaugural option sold off more than 130,000 Bitcoins which were valued at more than $50 million. The following year the US Marshals Service auctioned off even more big coins, totaling approximately 175,000 BTC. Since then, US Marshals Service has established itself as an outlet for seized crypto currencies. Working closely with the Treasury Executive Office for Asset Forfeiture, the US Marshals Service now handles almost all of the US government's seized crypto currencies.
In the current BTC market, it does not appear that the US Marshals Service auction will have a significant effect on Bitcoin prices, if any at all. In the past, auctions symbolized criminal activity ties to cryptocurrencies and thus made them less desirable for many investors. The infamous auction tied to the dark web’s Silk Road is a perfect example.
At the time, cryptocurrency was still years away from hitting mainstream financial markets. When news hit that a global network of cyber criminals used Bitcoin as an anonymous payment method, it scared many people off. That fear, of course, triggered huge selloffs, and that, in turn, lowered Bitcoin’s value. Today, Bitcoin is sitting pretty on the world stage and it is unlikely that a government auction of seized digital assets is going to send anyone running for the hills.
Added to the immense popularity and global acceptance that Bitcoin now enjoys, we are also in the middle of one of Bitcoin’s best bull runs in a long time, with hopefuls looking to the 6-digit prices within weeks, if not sooner.
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