Checkbooks Ready! US Marshals to Hold $4 Million Bitcoin Auction

The US Marshals Service has announced an upcoming auction for over $4 million worth of bitcoin seized during various legal proceedings. The sealed bid auction, which is scheduled to take place in November, will offer approximately 660 BTC seized during about 31 federal criminal, civil and administrative cases under the asset forfeiture framework of the Department of Justice.

Particulars for the Auction

Interested parties are expected to register with the USMS to be evaluated and cleared for the bid process. The required items for the registration are a manually signed copy of the bidder registration form, a copy of a government-issued photo ID for the bidder, a deposit in USD sent from a bank located within the United States, and a copy of the EFT transmittal receipt.

Following submission, eligible bid candidates will be announced on November 1, ahead of the auction, which is scheduled to take place on November 5. According to the USMS website, bid registration will take place between October 22 and October 31.

Following this, the online auction period featuring vetted and accredited bidders will begin on November 5.

An excerpt from the announcement reads:

“The prevailing bids will be determined by the following criteria: The eligible bidder who offers the highest price will be the prevailing bidder; If there are multiple bids at the highest price, the first bid received will prevail; and If a winning bidder defaults, the next highest bidder will be declared the winning bidder.”

Changing Global Law Enforcement Strategy

The asset forfeiture program has traditionally been used to go after assets acquired through proceeds of illegal or criminal activity, which are usually in the form of real estate, artworks, vehicles, jewelry, and cash.

Over the past few years, however, regulators and governments around the world have increasingly recognised bitcoin as an asset to be confiscated during civil and criminal proceedings that necessitate asset seizure.

In July, reported that Canadian police seized $1.6 million in bitcoin from an unnamed man accused of selling drugs on dark web marketplace Silk Road under the pseudonym “MarijuanaIsMyMuse.”

Last month, also reported that the secretary of Thailand’s Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO), Witthaya Neetitham announced that the government agency is planning to create its own cryptocurrency wallet for the purposes of tackling crime relating to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as it seeks to close a legal loophole that has allowed cybercriminals keep the proceeds of their activities despite prosecution.

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Last modified: March 4, 2021 3:50 PM

David Hundeyin

I am a busy Nigerian writer, journalist and writer with an interest in tech and finance. When I'm not contributing to CCN and traveling around Africa, you can catch me contributing to CNN Africa, or in the writers room at 'The Other News', Nigeria's weekly answer to 'The Daily Show' with nearly 2 million viewers. My work on 'The Other News' was featured in the New Yorker Magazine, and that was then cited in the Washington Post so I'm not sure that counts as a feature but I'll definitely mention it too! I have been nominated by the US State Department to take part in the 2019 Edward R. Murrow Program for journalists under the International Visitors Leadership Program. I also like hamsters. You can reach me on Twitter at _David_Hundeyin