With the advent of bitcoins and other altcoins, so was the start of criminal activities surrounding these digital currencies. The U.S. Marshall service has seized many cryptocurrencies in cases involving felons in crypto-related illegal activities. And what do they do with the seized bitcoins? Well, auction them of course.
The U.S. Marshal Service (USMS) has announced that they plan to auction 2170 bitcoins on March 19th, 2018. In USD, that amount translated to $25 million. Now, this is not the first time that the U.S. Marshal auctioned their confiscated bitcoins. In fact, the whole ordeal started way back in 2014, when they auctioned off over 50000 bitcoins.
The auction on March 19th will mark the second auction conducted by the US agency in a span of one month. However, the USMS has some basic eligibility criteria on who can take part in the auction.
Interested individuals have to deposit an amount of 200,000 USD and also have to fill out some documents like a bidder registration form, personal information, business details, bank account details and so on. Deadline to furnish these details is on March 14.
Apart from this, the USMS has also officially stated that they will not entertain illicit sources to take part in the auction:
“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.”
Now, the 19th March auction will sort the bitcoins into 14 separate blocks and put them on sale. 2 of the blocks will have 500 BTC each, the other 11 will consist of 100 BTC each, and the last block will have 70 BTC. The USMS has also disclosed the origination of most of these bitcoins, and surely the majority of them come from high profile criminals. Some are even traceable to Shaun Bridge, the ex-secret service agent linked to the Silk Road Investigation.