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Us Department of Justice to Auction off 660 Bitcoins

Looking to buy Bitcoin? The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is selling off approximately USD 4.2 million of the cryptocurrency acquired from various criminal proceedings.

 The US Marshals Service (USMS) posted a notice on its website on Thursday detailing the Bitcoin auction. A USD 200,000 deposit is required to take part, with bidders needing to register their interest in the sealed bid auction by 31 October. The official bid for the bitcoins will take place on 5 November

The nature of the sealed bid auction means that participants can neither see other bidders’ offers nor can they adjust their own prices once they have given a figure. Initially, six sets of BTC 100 will be put on offer, followed by one set of BTC 60.

Where did the DOJ get all this crypto?

USMS state that all of the Bitcoin was seized from individuals judged to be involved in illicit activities with their cryptocurrency, made up of ”federal criminal, civil and administrative cases.”

Each individual case is listed with either its case number or the total amount of Bitcoin that was forfeited. Several of the names listed stand out from their high profile cases, such as that of Theresa Tetley and Thomas Mario Costanzo who were both sentenced to jail time after prosecution over Bitcoin-related money laundering.


Being run by the DOJ, there are unsurprisingly restrictions on who may participate in the auction. While non-US residents and nationals are allowed to bid, they will all be subject to a screening process to ensure they do not appear on the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control list of Specially Designated Nationals.

A US bank account is also required to deposit funds for the purchase, alongside a copy of a government-issued ID and a manually signed  “Bidder Registration Form.”

This is the third case of USMS selling off their Bitcoin haul, with the first instance taking place in January 2018 followed by the second in March, offering BTC 3,800 and BTC 2,100 respectively. Compared to the previous instances, the latest auction has a far smaller amount of Bitcoin going under the hammer.

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