Marshals Service to sell $4.2m in criminally-forfeited bitcoins

October 22, 2018
Chris Wheal

US Marshals are to auction off more of the ill-gotten gains from bitcoin criminals, selling in seven blocks 660 tokens worth around $4.2bn at current market prices.

US Marshals Service

The US Marshals Service is the oldest law enforcement agency in the country, dating back to the office of George Washington in 1789. The auction is scheduled to take place on 5 November between 8am and 2pm.

Block sales

Some 660 bitcoins are being sold in seven blocks: six series A blocks of 100 bitcoins and one series B block of 60 tokens. The total is valued at $4,220,040 at today’s market prices and consists of forfeitures from federal criminal, civil and administrative cases conducted by the Marshals Service.

Indeed, the Marshals manage a wide-variety of assets representing forfeited property acquired through criminal activity, and other assets seized from guilty parties to cover fines and costs. Often this property includes real estate, vehicles, jewellery and other collectables and financial holdings.

Previous sales

Next month’s bitcoin auction is the seventh to be conducted by the Marshals Service – the most profitable of which was January’s sale of some 3,813 bitcoins which were worth a total of $511.5bn one month following bitcoin’s record high.

A subsequent sale in March saw the price of bitcoin drop further to around $9,000 per coin and the auction of a further 2,170 tokens were valued at around $24m at the time.

Sealed bids

Auctions are conducted through sealed bids: bidders are required to submit a deposit of $200,000 which will be returned immediately following the auction to unsuccessful bidders. The sealed bids represent a final offer: bidders have no opportunity to view rival offers, nor to change their own offer once it is submitted.

Those wishing to participate can download a registration form here. Bidders can submit multiple bids, but each one requires a separate registration and deposit.

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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