US Marshals to Auction $37M in Confiscated Bitcoin in February

The USMS said it will return the deposits to non-winning bidders, promising to initiate the return of losing bid deposits within five business days after transferring bitcoins to the winning bidder.

According to the official USMS website, the authority is planning to sell “approximately” 4,040 Bitcoins (4,040.54069820), requiring a $200,000 deposit in order to take part in the auction.

The United States Marshals Service (USMS), a federal law enforcement agency within the U.S. Department of Justice, will auction more than 4,000 confiscated Bitcoins (BTC).

At press time, the total amount of the auctioned Bitcoin is worth around $37.4 million, according to data from Coin360. The Bitcoin for the bid was seized in various federal criminal, civil and administrative proceedings, the agency noted.

Bidders should pay $200,000 to sign up for the auction before Feb. 18

Bidder registration is open from Feb. 3 until Feb. 12. The online auction will take place on Feb. 18. As the authority is planning to conduct the auction from 8:00 AM EST until 2:00 PM EST on Feb. 18, the announcement of the winners is scheduled to come at 5:00 PM EST. However, the USMS may spend more time to announce winners based on the number of received bids as well as the complexity of the review process, which may require additional time, the announcement reads.

Similarly to previous auctions held by the USMS, the upcoming auction will be divided in parts. Specifically, the Bitcoin auction will be separated into series, with 2,500, 1,000, 500 and 40.54069820 Bitcoin each.

The recently announced Bitcoin auction follows a number of similar bids in recent years. As such, in January 2018, the USMS sold over 3,800 confiscated bitcoins before announcing a 600 BTC bid in October.

Auctions for confiscated bitcoins have been practiced by multiple governments to date. In February 2018, the United Kingdom and Ireland-based auction house Wilsons Auctions hosted their first Bitcoin auction, as reported by Cointelegraph. Previously, the South Korean government announced it plans to auction 216 bitcoins in 2017.

Bitcoin Achieves Major Milestone With Half a Billion Transactions Confirmed

The Bitcoin network has surpassed 500 million transactions since going live over 11 years ago.

According to blockchain analytics site Statoshi, there have been half a billion transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain as of press time.

Crypto firm Casa CTO Jameson Lopp, co-founder & CTO site Statoshi celebrated the milestone on Twitter, saying:

“Today, as of block 00000000000000000001145bf2e7cb7f04df55feaf3b55d9f6511522bbbf333f at height 616064, Bitcoin surpassed 500 million transactions confirmed on the blockchain.”

From the First Bitcoin Transaction to Today’s Milestone

The first-ever Bitcoin transaction took place on Jan. 12, 2009. Nakamoto and the late Hal Finney were the early contributors to the project. Nakamoto sent Finney 10 BTC as a test, after which the computer scientist began mining blocks himself.

Ten months later, on Oct. 5, 2009, the New Liberty Standard set an initial Bitcoin exchange rate against the dollar. At the time, $1 was worth 2300.03 BTC.

The first-ever transaction of Bitcoin for physical goods took place on May 22, 2010. The famous Bitcoin Pizza saw two pizzas bought for 10,000 BTC by Laszlo Hanyecz. The programmer had offered users on a Bitcointalk forum the BTC in exchange for two pizzas. A teenager named Jeremy Sturdivant, nicknamed Jercos, accepted the Bitcoin and sent Hanyecz two pizzas from Papa John’s. This marks the first commercial transaction for Bitcoin.

After 11 years, Bitcoin is now hitting another major milestone of passing half a billion transactions. As Twitter user Hodlonaut tweeted:

 “Bitcoin isn’t talking about this. Or about how revolutionary and unprecedented its traits of censorship resistance and immutability are. Bitcoin just is. And does. Once block at a time.”

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