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
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

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

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by Block.one; both groups have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.