According to a press release on March 5, the U.S Marshalls Service has announced that later this month, it will auction 2170 Bitcoins in total which amounts to a whopping $25 million. According to the press-release, these Bitcoins have been confiscated in “connection with various federal criminal, civil and administrative cases,” which range from Federal Trials to Drug Enforcement Agency actions.
On Monday, the government agency has announced that it put a total of 2170 Bitcoin on the auction block. According to the Marshal Service, the sale is planned for March 19 and bidders are requested to submit $200,000 deposit and complete other registration requirements by March 14, in order to participate in the auction. The auction this month will consist of 14 separate blocks that comprise of a combination of two blocks of 500 BTC, 11 blocks of 100 BTC, and one block of 70 BTC.
The range of several cases, from where the BTC coins have been seized, are available on the official notice posted on the US Marshals Services website. In one of the actions, Justin Moreira has pleaded guilty to purchasing a firearm and a silencer on a website through Bitcoin, in April 2016. The seller, in this case, caught hold of Justin as he turned out to be a Federal Undercover agent. The other is the case of Shaun Bridges, a Secret Service Agent who has been convicted of stealing $800,000 in Bitcoin back in 2015, during the Silk Road investigation.
The U.S Marshal Services has earlier auctioned sums of Bitcoin that were seized during the course of civil and criminal proceedings. Earlier this year on Jan 22, 2018, the agency has sold 3813 BTC a sum amounting to $40 million as per the BTC price then.
Prior to this year, the last time the agency auctioned its seized BTC assets was back in August 2016 when 2700 BTC coins were reportedly sold off with an estimated price of $1.6 million, as per the market price then.
Bitcoin had an unprecedented run last year in 2017, before it finally started correcting after the mid of December just after the launch of Bitcoin Futures Contract. Due to a huge investor rush to buy BTC coins, the Bitcoin’s blockchain network was too much congested thereby leading to a huge increase in transaction costs and well as huge delays in processing the transactions within the block.
Bitcoin’s scalability issue has been haunting its developer community since a long time and the network congestion is one of the primary reasons why crypto investors and enthusiasts started shifting to other alternatives like Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, etc. After reaching its all-time peak of $20000 in December 2017, Bitcoin corrected heavily in the last two months going to as low as around $6000 before partially recovering back above $10000.
After a much awaited period, the full-support for Segregated Witness (SegWit) has finally been released in the latest update of the Bitcoin Core software. SegWit is the process by which the block size limit on a blockchain is increased by removing signature data from Bitcoin transactions. When certain parts of a transaction are removed, this frees up space or capacity to add more transactions to the chain.
After the support for SegWit has been released, the number of transactions on the Bitcoin network doubled just within two days thereby again bringing the transactions costs down and speeding up the transactions on the network. A successful implementation of SegWit has set the premise of the much-awaited development of Lightning Network expected to arrive later this year.