US Marshals Will Auction $40M in Bitcoin This Month

The Marshals will auction “approximately” 4,040 bitcoin, worth $37.7 million at press time, according to CoinDesk‘s Bitcoin Price Index, to registered bidders on Feb. 18, the press release said. Potential bidders must register by Feb. 12.

The U.S. Marshals Service is auctioning nearly $40 million in bitcoin, the first such auction since the end of 2018.

“The auction will take place during a six-hour period Feb. 18. Bids will be accepted by email from pre-registered bidders only,” the release said.

Bidders will also be required to make a $200,000 deposit before being able to bid. Participants who do not win their bids will receive these back.

The bitcoin will be sold in four lots, with 2,500, 1,000, 500 and 40.54069820 bitcoin each. The first three lots are further split into blocks, each with their own set number of bitcoin.

The bitcoin for this month’s auction come from more than 50 administrative forfeitures and legal cases, according to the Marshals’ website.

Bitcoin News Summary – February 3, 2020

Kraken Security Labs reported an attack on the Trezor series of hardware wallets. Within 15 minutes, their security team was able to extract the private key from either a Trezor or Model T device. This would allow the theft of all coins contained by the wallet. The attack does require access to the device so the threat is neutralized with the use of a BIP39 passphrase combined with keeping your Trezor device in a secure place.

A British court has ordered crypto exchange, Bitfinex, to put a hold on about $860,000 worth of Bitcoin obtained via ransomware and deposited there. Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis was able to trace the flow of funds from a victim.

Bitfinex also launched Tether Gold trading this week. This stablecoin is pegged to the price of gold and backed by physical gold reserves. This could represent an interesting way for gold traders to reduce their trading fees.

Zermatt, a small ski resort town in Switzerland, is now accepting tax payments in the form of Bitcoin. It is now the second region in Switzerland to do so. The Swiss city of Zug, known as “crypto valley”, started accepting Bitcoin for tax payments back in 2016.

Chainalysis, the blockchain analytics firm released a cybercrime report stating that 1.1% of all crypto transactions, roughly $11 billion were linked to cybercrime last year. Most of the criminal activity was related to darknet market transactions or terrorist funding.

Before we conclude, this week’s “Bitcoin quick question” is can Bitcoin be shut down?

While a certain government may declare Bitcoin as illegal which in turn will deter many people from using it, there’s no way to forcefully shut down Bitcoin as it doesn’t have any one central point of failure.

Each computer running the Bitcoin network, known as a node, holds a complete copy of the blockchain. In order to shut down Bitcoin completely, a government will need to locate and shut down all of these nodes simultaneously or ban Internet access completely on all of its citizens.

Today there are around 11,000 Bitcoin nodes spread around the world in over 100 countries. Any country seeking to shut down Bitcoin will have to work hand in hand with so many governments it seems almost impossible to imagine.

To view the complete Bitcoin node list worldwide click on the link in the description.

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