The US government on Thursday said it plans to auction 3,813 bitcoins on January 22, 2018. The auction being conducted by the US marshals service is not the first for bitcoins seized in connection with various federal criminal, civil and administrative cases.
This sealed auction will be divided into three rounds. The first will feature 5 lots of 500 bitcoins, the second 5 lots of 100, while the USMS will sell-off 813 bitcoins in the final round. A $200,000 deposit is required for participating in the auction, to ensure that all bidders are serious.
For those wishing to partake, bidders must verify their identity by providing a copy of a government-issued photo ID, as well as additional confirmation proofs.
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Bidders must register for the six-hour auction by January 19, and winners will be notified on January 22. If the USMS determines that a participant is not eligible, the deposit funds will be returned.
At the exchange rate at the time of this posting, the value of offered bitcoins is more than $50 million. By that measure, fronting $200,000 seems more than reasonable.
US authorities have accrued millions of dollars from sales of seized Bitcoin in recent years. Authorities sold almost 30,000 bitcoins confiscated from the Silk Road marketplace on the darknet in 2014.
The auctions are intended to be anonymous, but a leaked list of bidders in a previous sales revealed that interested parties included staff from various investment funds, banks and founders of blockchain-related startups.