US Marshals Successfully Auction $30 Million in Bitcoin

The U.S. agency that manages the sale of seized assets confirmed Thursday it had successfully auctioned off more than 3,600 bitcoin in January.

AccessTimeIconFeb 8, 2018 at 9:20 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:33 a.m. UTC

The U.S. Marshals Service confirmed Thursday that more than 3,600 bitcoin sold at auction in January have been successfully transferred to five winning bidders.

An unknown winner received 1,600 bitcoin (worth about $13.4 million at press time), the agency confirmed in an email today, with the remaining buyers receiving 500, 500, 200 and 813 bitcoins (worth $4 million, $4 million, $1.6 million and $6.7 million), respectively.

With the exception of Riot Blockchain, which claimed one of the two 500-bitcoin lots, the names of the winners were not disclosed. Riot voluntarily announced it had received 500 bitcoins shortly after the sale.

Notably, the agency ended up selling 100 bitcoins less than anticipated, a development it said was due to unforeseen technical issues. The agency is now maintaining custody of those assets.

Stepping back, the sale marks the first time since 2016 that the agency has auctioned off bitcoins. At the time, the agency sold 2,700 bitcoins for a profit of less than $2 million.

The agency first announced its most recent sale on Jan. 11 revealing at the time that it was auctioning a little more than 3,800 bitcoins, worth about $54 million.

The day after the sale, the agency confirmed it had received 111 bids from 62 unique registered bidders. To register, each bidder had to deposit $200,000 and complete a registration process.

When the bitcoins were sold on Jan. 22, they would have been worth roughly $42 million.

Auction mallet image via Shutterstock

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