US Marshals to auction 4,041 Bitcoins. Whales-only apply…

Yes, it’s true. Anyone who wants to can get in on some Bitcoin at a potential giant discount to market. Well… only those with already deep pockets, that is.

Here’s what the US Marshals .Gov site posted just this week.

Washington – U.S. Marshals Holding Bitcoin Auction
Approximately 4,040 bitcoins to be sold. $200,000 deposit required by Feb 12, 2020. Contact U.S. Marshals Office of Public Affairs (703) 740-1699

That’s right, The U.S. Marshals are auctioning approximately 4,040 bitcoins “in connection with various federal criminal, civil and administrative cases” their press release reads.

In order to bid, potential bidders must complete all registration requirements by Feb. 12 and submit a $200,000 deposit (in U.S. dollars of course) which is required to simply participate, though all bidders except for the winner will have their deposits returned according to the release. Pre-registered bidders are the only ones whose bids will be accepted, and those bidders will be a part of a 6-hour “Sealed-bid” bidding session on February 18th.

According to the USMarshals.gov site, the winning bidder will be notified Feb. 18, also implying that only one bidder will win and thus there is only one Lot consisting of all 4,000+ $BTC up for auction. #Hodlers of #BTC during the climb of 2017 may remember other US government auctions of seized Bitcoin, all but solidifying that the #cryptocurrency was legitimized by the US Marshals and more importantly by the Internal REvenue Service (#IRS) simply by the nature of a government entity selling and receiving US dollars for the asset. Here again, and recognizing that the IRS has since 2016, offered taxation guidelines for owners of the currency to submit taxes on profits, the crypto seems to be legitimized as a tradable asset in their guidelines and dockets.

Further details on the auction are available posted on the site and in the press release at www.usmarshals.gov/assets/2020/febbitcoinauction. According to the site, the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Program is a key component of the federal government’s law enforcement efforts to combat major criminal activity by disrupting and dismantling illegal enterprises, depriving criminals of the proceeds of illegal activity, deterring crime and restoring property to victims. The U.S. Marshals Service plays a critical role in identifying and evaluating assets that represent the proceeds of crime as well as efficiently managing and selling assets seized and forfeited by the DOJ.

Now, it seems to us there are just a few more questions that arise here than are answered.

  1. Does the IRS, thus the US government still consider Bitcoin an asset?
  2. Does the one-bidder-takes-all model seem fair to you or average US citizens or does it favor hedge funds, whales, and institutional money only?
  3. Should the auction be broken down into varying lot sizes allowing for average retail consumers to be a part of a government auction, one that their tax dollars help fund?
  4. … more question below, but first…

We’d love to hear your thoughts. Noting some of these concerns however, in a more detailed read of the most recent updates on the site, it turns out there are 4 total lots up for auction, each of varying size. AND, to the sured delight of the #twitterati and the #cryptotwitter followers, WHERE and WHO each of these lots was seized from is now listed on the US Marshals site (and below).

FEB 18 AUCTION includes seized assets as outlined below:

DEA Forfeitures

United States v. Tyler Lee Ward et al., (Case No. 18-cr-438)
United States v. Ryan Farace (Case No. 18-cr-00018)
United States v. Matthew Lee Yensan (Case No. 17-cr-00303)
United States v. Alexandre Cazes, et al., (Case No. 17-cv-00967)

FBI Forfeitures
United States v. Ronald L. Wheeler, III (Case No. 17-cr-377)
United States v. Konrads Voits (Case No. 17-cr-20689)
United States v. Seth Bangert (Case No. 19-mj-00073)

HSI-USCBP Forfeitures
United States v. Donte L. Gibson, et al. (Case No. 18-cr-094)
United States v. Gal Vallerius (Case No. 17-cr-20648)
United States v. Darcy Wedd (15-cr-00616)
United States v. Sky Justin Gornik (17-cr-2796)
United States v. Matthew Mulford (Case No. 19-cr-028)

This sealed bid auction for 4,041.58424932 Bitcoin separated into four series: 

Series A (5 blocks of 500 Bitcoin) and 

Series B (10 blocks of 100 Bitcoin) and 

Series C (10 blocks of 50 Bitcoin) and 

Series D (1 block of 41.58424932 Bitcoin). 

You will not have the opportunity to view other bids. You will not have the opportunity to change your bid once submitted.

Final questions for this reader…

4. If the deposit was not a concern, would you buy Bitcoin from the U.S. Government? If so what’s the right amount, or too much?

5. Is this yet anothe rway for the US Gov to make money at the ‘expense’ of its people while making it harder and harder for US citizens to own, purchase or pay taxes on the same asset?

6. What questions does this all bring up for you, good Hodler?

  • Nelson Wells is a CEO, a single dad of twin daughters, a cryptocurrency hodler, a believer in the long term world-redefining power of blockchain. Reach out & follow him at Clermont1