The US government has decided to auction off 4,000 bitcoins.
More precisely, this involves 4,040.54069820 BTC put up for sale by the US Marshals Service (USMS), a federal law enforcement agency within the U.S. Department of Justice which, among other things, is also responsible for ensuring the effective functioning of the judiciary, the transfer of prisoners and the witness protection programme.
The bitcoins auctioned are the result of confiscations in dozens of federal cases, namely criminal, civil and administrative, in the United States, and consist of four Series: A Series (5 blocks of 500 BTC), B Series (10 blocks of 100 BTC), C Series (10 blocks of 50 BTC) and D Series (1 block of 40,54069820 BTC).
Anyone wishing to purchase them should submit their bid for one or more Series, no later than 12 EST on Wednesday, February 12th, 2020.
In order to submit a bid, it will be necessary to register with the USMS by submitting all the required documents and wait for the USMS to recognize the eligibility to purchase.
Moreover, a $200,000 deposit is required to participate in the auction, which will be retained from the winning bids before the actual payment.
It should be noted that the bitcoins included in the D-Series block, the block with the least BTC of all, have a current market value of approximately $360,000, well above the $200,000 deposit, and this may also indicate that the sale price may be lower than the market price. However, this remains only an assumption.
In total, the over 4,000 BTC in the four Series have a market value of around $37 million, so it’s still a very large auction. By choosing to sell in blocks, the smallest of which is about 40 BTC, the USMS has in fact chosen to target only large investors, since it will presumably be very difficult to win the auction with less than $350,000.
This is not the first time that the USMS has auctioned bitcoins. The first auction of this type dates back to the summer of 2014 when the well-known crypto investor Tim Draper won almost BTC 30,000.