Over the past half-decade, the United States Department of Justice has been holding Bitcoin auctions. These auctions took place in a manner not entirely unlike what most people know as Police Auctions. Once a criminal is apprehended, charged, found guilty, and sentenced for a crime, their assets are (potentially) up for forfeit. In selling these Bitcoin lots, the United States government has instilled legitimacy in their worth, time and time again.
The latest auction for Bitcoin by the United States Marshal’s office is for a stack of 2,170 bitcoins. These bitcoins are split into Series A, B, and C, containing 2 blocks of 500 bitcoins, 11 blocks of 100 bitcoins, and 1 block of 70 bitcoins. Each of these auction series requires a deposit of $200,000 USD.
These bitcoins come from a variety of federal criminal, civil, and administrative cases. Most are only marked “DEA Administrative Forfeiture of [X amount] Bitcoin,” but there’s also a few outliers. In addition to Abandoned Bitcoin (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives,) there are a few more specific cases which are listed below this paragraph.
• United States v. Shaun Bridges (Case No. 17-0448)
• United States v. Carl James Pugh, Northern District of Ohio (Case No. 16-00291)
• Consent to Abandon 4.63084383 Bitcoin by Justin Moreira (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives)
• United States v. Bitcoin Account Wallet Address xxxxChgi, Containing 164.57107207 Bitcoin and Bitcoin Account Wallet Address xxx67Ly Containing 28.988387 Bitcoin (Case No. 14-645)
The first item on the list is a court case related to a former Secret Service Agent (Bridges) and his dealings with Silk Road and the thievery of bitcoin – and a bit of money laundering, too. The second item on the list has case number Case No. 16-00291, which leads us Bankruptcy Court filings.
It would appear that bankruptcy courts – at least in Ohio – consider bitcoins to be a part of legal admission of assets and whatnot. The law has already caught up to this form of money – giving it more legitimacy as a store of value in the process. More information on the event can be found at USMarshals dot gov.
FUN FACT: This auction is for just over 2k bitcoins. In the year 2014, the USMS began a series of auctions to sell off forfeited bitcoins from convicted Silk Road operator Ross Ulbricht. The full amount of Bitcoin seized had to be split into several auctions, totaling up to 144,000 bitcoins. Together, those coins would now be worth over $1.4-billion USD.
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