The U.S. Marshals Service opened registration for the auction of bitcoins seized by the FBI from Silk Road’s servers last October. Approximately 29,656 BTC were found, which today would be worth around $17.5 million.
The USMS was created in 1769 and is the enforcement arm of U.S. federal courts. It also provides services like court security and prisoner transport.
The auction does not include bitcoins seized from the personal stash of Silk Road operator Ross William Ulbricht, which is believed to be as much as 144,000 and worth $85 million today.
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Registration opened at 9 am EST today and will remain open for just over a week. Interested bidders are required to complete and sign a registration form, supply government-issued ID and send them a $200,000 deposit via wire transfer.
The auction itself is to be held on June 27. Bitcoins will be divided into 10 “blocks” (not to be confused with those found on the blockchain). Approved participants submit bids on specific bid forms.
Winning bidders are to transfer funds for the sale via wire transfer, less the deposit. Then, “the winning bidder(s) will be given private instructions related to the transferring of the bitcoins.”
USMS makes several disclaimers about the process. After warning that they will not transfer bitcoins to an “obscene public address” or any other address potentially associated with terrorism or or other criminal activities, they also state their reserved right to reject a bid “for any reason whatsoever.” Those with rejected bids may also lose their deposits. The USMS auction should also not be interpreted as any warranty about Bitcoin.