2,170 bitcoins, worth more than $24 million, are up for auction as the U.S. Marshals Service plans on selling off digital assets seized in federal crimes. With the value of Bitcoin continually predicted to increase, this might prove to be a lucrative opportunity for investors on the sidelines to cautiously make regulation-insured purchases.
Bitcoin to the Highest Bidder
The U.S. Marshals Service has announced that they will be auctioning off approximately 2,170 bitcoins, currently worth over $24 million, that were originally seized in federal crimes later this month. A majority of the listed crimes are associated with DEA administrative forfeitures, which consist of drug-related offenses.
The bitcoins will be broken up into 14 blocks consisting of 70, 100, or 500 units. To participate in the auction, individuals are required to put down a deposit of $200,000 and complete all the required registration forms by March 14th.
The winning bidders are to be notified by March 19th, but the release mentions that the “complexity of the review process” might lead to delays.
Dirty Wallets Need Not Apply
Related to the lack of fungibility that Bitcoin currently suffers from, the terms of sale imply that the provided receiving address will be screened thoroughly to ensure that it hasn’t come in contact with malicious activity.
The USMS will not transfer Bitcoin to an obscene public address, a public address apparently in a country restricted by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), a public address apparently associated with terrorism, other criminal activities, or otherwise hostile to the United States.
Also mentioned is the fact that the buyer will have to pay transfer fees associated with the purchase. Considering that Bitcoin’s transaction fees have significantly dropped in the last few weeks, this shouldn’t come as too much of a hassle.
Continuous Crypto Clearance
This wouldn’t be the first time that the U.S. government has auctioned off Bitcoin acquired from federal cases. Earlier this year, approximately 3,813 Bitcoin were auctioned off and purchased by five bidders.
Back in 2014 and 2015, the government auctioned off Bitcoin seized during the dismantling of the Silk Road, an infamous dark web marketplace.
During that auction, venture capitalist and Bitcoin supporter Tim Draper purchased 29,655 bitcoins for a mere $19 million. Today, that Bitcoin is valued at over $320 million – not bad for a two to three-year investment.
Considering the regulatory process to participate and the return on investment from the previous auction, it wouldn’t be surprising if plenty of large net worth individuals flock toward this opportunity.
Do you believe that participating in the auction is a smart move for investors? Do you think that the seized Bitcoin should have an alternate fate? Let us know in the comments below!
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