The US government will auction off $54 million of bitcoins

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  • The US Marshals Service announced Thursday that it plans to auction off approximately 3,813 bitcoins, worth about $54 million, that were sized in “various federal criminal, civil, and administrative cases.”
  • Potential bidders have to register before January 19, and will need to put down a cool $200,000 deposit in order to participate. The deposit must be in US dollars and transferred via ACH. The Department of Justice does not appear to accept bitcoin.
  • The coins will be auctioned off in blocks of 500, 100, and 813 – meaning the smallest amount you could potentially purchase would be 100 BTC. At Thursday’s prices, that would be roughly $1.409 million, though it’s not clear whether the government auction will fetch prices below or above where the cryptocurrency is trading on other exchanges.
  • Since it’s not an open auction and bids are secret, winners will be notified on January 22, the agency says.
  • The price of bitcoin was down roughly 5% Thursday as many cryptocurrencies fell following reports South Korea was planning to crack down on exchanges.