A Bitcoin auction slated for February 18, 2020, will see the US government through the Marshals Service sell more than Bitcoin (BTC) to bidders.
That’s according to a “For Sale” notice the federal law enforcement agency published on Monday. The sale will see 4,040 bitcoins (4,040.54069820 to be exact) go on sale.
At the time of writing, the 4k bitcoins slated for auctioning total about $37.46 million.
Those interested in buying the bitcoins have until February 12 to submit their bids. Bidders are free to register their interest by filling a bid registration form and paying a participation deposit of $200,000, the notice reads.
As per the USMS, the online auction will only involve successful bidders and will happen on February 18 from 8:00 AM EST to 2:00 PM EST.
Parties bidding to take part in the auction will be notified of “their eligibility to participate […] by email no later than 5:00 PM EST” on February 13.
In case a bidder is ineligible to participate in the bitcoin auction or their bid is unsuccessful, the USMS will refund the deposit “within five (5) business days.” Notably, the refund process could take longer going by a large number of bidders expected to take part. But, as per the agency’s statement, returning the deposits will begin immediately the Service completes the transfer of the bitcoins to the winner(s).
Similar to other auctions
The U.S Marshals Service has held several bitcoin auctions since 2014. These include BTC seized following the shutdown of infamous dark marketplace Silk Road. The most recent auctions were in 2018, with over 3.8k bitcoins auctioned in January and another 600 in October.
Like the other auctions the USMS has conducted over the years, the latest one will be split into four parts or series. Each series will have a specified number of blocks totaling a given number of bitcoins.
The four parts comprise 2,500 BTC split into 5 blocks; 1,000BTC in 10 blocks; 500 BTC in 10 blocks and 40.54069820 BTC in 1 block.
The bitcoin lined up for auction are those seized from parties and individuals charged by federal authorities, the USMS statement noted.