US Marshals to Auction $4.3 Million in Bitcoin Next Month

The US government is auctioning off approximately 660 bitcoins, which it has seized from defendants in a wide range of criminal and civil cases, according to a notice from the US Marshals Service. The coins are worth a total of $4.3 million at the current price and minimum deposit for entering the auction is $200,000 (about 30 BTC).

According to financial research firm Autonomous NEXT and Crypto Aware, which works with investors affected by crypto scams, about 15 percent of cryptocurrencies have been stolen between 2012 and the first half of 2018, representing a cumulative $1.7 billion in value at the time of the theft and with a rising tendency. In the first half of this year alone, more than $800 million has already been stolen, according to the data.

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They require a $200,000 deposit when registering, making it very hard for common retail investors to participate.

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The bitcoins are offered for sale in two parts with 6 blocks of 100 bitcoin each and 1 block with 60 bitcoin.  Assuming a lower market value  and the smallest block of 70, that doesn't seem unreasonable to me.

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If the US Marshalls sell on the open market they will depress the market. The bidders know this and so are incentivised to bid at below-spot levels. Maybe the winner of the auction will be a hypothetical OTC desk that will buy the coins below spot and then slowly trade them out over the next few weeks for profit.

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