The agency, which is part of the US Department of Justice (DoJ) made the announcement on Monday, February 3rd signaling the opening of registration for bidders who will take part in the auction scheduled for Tuesday, February 18th starting from 8:00 AM EST through 2:00 PM EST.
Registrations will, however, be closed on February 12th. The notification notes that :
“the auction will take place during a six-hour period Feb. 18. Bids will be accepted by email from preregistered bidders only.”
According to the announcement, the agency is preparing to auction off 4,040.54069820 BTC worth about $37.4 million as of press time according to data from the crypto data aggregator Coin360.
Registered bidders will need to deposit $200,000 to qualify to be considered for the auction, an amount that will be fully refunded in the case that they do not win any of the auction blocks or win BTC worth less than the deposit amount.
The USMS is planning to conduct the auction in phases or series. A table provided within the notification shows that there will be a total of four series divided up to hold different BTC amounts.
- The first dubbed Series A will have five blocks each of 500 BTC totaling to 2,500 BTC.
- The next Series B will be comprised of 10 blocks each with 100 BTC totaling 1,000 BTC while.
- The third Series C will have 10 blocks each holding 50 BTC.
- The last Series D will have the remainder of the coins amounting to 40.54069820 which will be put for auction in a single block.
There are four requirements for participation within the upcoming auction:
- A manually signed pdf copy of the Bidder Registration Form
- A copy of a Government-issued photo ID for the Bidder (or Control Person(s) of Bidder)
- Deposit in US Dollars sent by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) originating from a bank located within the United States
- A copy of the EFT transmittal receipt
“You are not eligible to submit a bid or otherwise participate in this auction unless you have submitted all required documents and have received confirmation from the USMS that you are an eligible bidder,” the USMS noted.
This is the first digital currency auction in over a year by a US agency with the last one happening back in November 2018 when the same agency sold of 660 BTC coins.
In that year alone, the USMS sold off coins worth over $50 million. According to the Monday notification, the USMS notes that the coins that will be auctioned on the 18th were coins from other administrative departments gotten mostly from forfeitures and legal cases.
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