The United States Marshals Service has announced its final Silk Road auction to sell 44,341 Bitcoins. The Auction will be held November 5th. The Bitcoins will be sold in 21 lots of 2,000 with a 22nd lot of 2,341 Bitcoin. Per the Marshals service this is the last planned sale of Bitcoins criminally seized from Ross Ulbricht by Preet Bharara and his co-conspirators. The full details of the sale along with a calendar of sale milestones is reproduced below:
THIS NOTICE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN OFFER TO SELL BUT INVITES INTERESTED PARTIES TO SUBMIT A BID FOR PURCHASE. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS BEING PROVIDED WITHOUT RECOURSE TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE UNITED STATES MARSHALS SERVICE.
CHECK BACK FREQUENTLY FOR UPDATES
PLEASE READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY.
FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH ANY OF THE FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS WILL RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION FROM THIS SEALED BID AUCTION.
This sealed bid auction is for 44,341.55308401 bitcoins separated into two (2) series.
Bitcoins per Block
Total Bitcoins Available in Series
A 2,000.00000000 21 42,000.00000000 $100,000
B 2,341.55308401 1 2,341.55308401
These bitcoins were held in wallet files that resided on certain computer hardware belonging to Ross William Ulbricht, that were seized on or about October 24, 2013. On January 27, 2014, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a Stipulation and Order for Interlocutory Sale of Bitcoins wherein the United States and Ross William Ulbricht agreed that the United States may sell any portion or all of these bitcoins on a date or dates in a manner to be determined by the government.
You will not have the opportunity to view other bids. You will not have the opportunity to change your bid once submitted.
Phase I: Bidder Registration
Opens: 9:00am EDT on Monday, October 19, 2015
Deadline: Noon EST on Monday, November 02, 2015
All interested parties must first register with the USMS. You are not eligible to submit a bid or otherwise participate in this auction unless you have submitted all required documents and have received confirmation from the USMS that you are an eligible bidder. Any registration documents received after the deadline will not be considered. Registration documents that were submitted in prior USMS auctions are not valid for this auction – you must submit new registration documents to be considered for this auction.
Required Registration Items:
A manually signed pdf copy of the Bidder Registration Form
A copy of a Government-issued photo ID for the Bidder (or Control Person(s) of Bidder)
Deposit in US Dollars sent by wire transfer originating from a bank located within the United States
A copy of the wire transmittal receipt
You must deliver the Required Registration Items by email to USMSBitcoins@usdoj.gov. If the USMS determines that you are an eligible bidder, you will receive additional information regarding how to place your bid by 5:00 P.M. EST on Tuesday, November 3, 2015. If the USMS determines that you are not an eligible bidder, you will receive communication of that fact from the USMS, the deposit funds will be returned, and you will not be eligible to participate in the online auction.
The deposit of the winning bidder will be retained by USMS and credited towards the purchase price. If the winning bidder fails to close on the transaction through no fault of the USMS, the winning bidder will irrevocably forfeit his/her/its deposit to the USMS. The deposit of any bidder whose bid is not selected as a winning bid will be returned by ACH transfer to the original account from which the deposit was received. We will begin processing return of deposits immediately following the close of the bitcoin transaction(s). We hope to process all returns within five (5) business days, but high participation may result in slightly longer return times.
Bidder Registration Form:
Bidders must register to participate in this auction. One registration form allows you to bid on multiple blocks from either Series A or Series B at the same per bitcoin price, but does not allow you submit multiple bids at varying per-bitcoin prices. If you wish to have the ability to bid multiple prices on multiple blocks, you will need to submit additional registration forms and additional deposit funds. The following examples are provided for your convenience:
Example 1: Bidder wants to purchase three (3) blocks of Series A for the same per-bitcoin price (e.g. $X per bitcoin for 6,000 Series A bitcoins). Bidder should submit ONE registration form with a $100,000 deposit, and will use ONE Bid Form to bid on all three Series A blocks.
Example 2: Bidder wants to purchase three (3) blocks of Series A and one (1) block of Series B for the same per-bitcoin price (e.g. $X per bitcoin for 6,000 Series A bitcoins, and $X per bitcoin for 2,341.55308401 Series B bitcoins). Bidder should submit ONE registration form with a $100,000 deposit, and will use ONE Bid Form to bid on all four blocks at the same per-bitcoin price (for both Series A and Series B).
Example 3: Bidder wants to purchase two (2) blocks of Series A and one (1) block of Series B at different prices (e.g. $X per bitcoin for 2,000 bitcoins from Series A, $Y per bitcoin for 2,000 bitcoins from Series A, and $Z per bitcoin for 2,341.55308401 bitcoins from Series B). Bidder should submit THREE separate registration forms, and a total deposit of $300,000 (or $100,000 for each registration), and will use THREE Bid Forms, one for each separate per-bitcoin bid price. Note that each registration allows the bidder to submit the same per-bitcoin price bid for both Series A and Series B.
Phase II: Online Auction Period
Date: Thursday, November 05, 2015, from 8:00am EST to 2:00pm EST
Only eligible registered bidders who have received an official Bid Form from the USMS may participate in the online auction.
In order for your bid to be considered by the USMS, you must send a signed pdf copy of the Bid Form within the online auction period window, which extends from 8:00 A.M. EST until 2:00 P.M. EST on Thursday, November 5, 2015. Bids received before or after the online auction period will not be considered. Bids that do not conform to the following instructions will not be considered.
A bid on more than one block from a series means that the bidder will accept any number of blocks up to the number of blocks for which he/she/it bid (e.g. a bid to purchase 5 blocks means that bidder will accept 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 blocks at the per block offer price).
The prevailing bids will be determined by the following criteria:
The eligible bidder who offers the highest price will be the prevailing bidder;
If there are multiple bids at the highest price, the first bid received will prevail;
If fewer than all of the blocks in a series are sold to the highest bidder, the remaining blocks will be sold to the successive highest bidders until all blocks are sold; and
If a winning bidder defaults, the next highest bidder will be declared the winning bidder.
Bids are considered open until the USMS has declared that the bid is not a winning bid.
Phase III: Award and Sale Close
On Friday, November 6, 2015, by 5:00 P.M. EST, the USMS will notify the winning bidder/bidders that their bid/bids has/have been selected. Winning bidder(s) must send the purchase price funds (less the deposit amount) by a wire transfer originating from a bank located within the United States and provide a wire transmittal receipt to the USMS by 2:00 P.M. EST, on Monday, November 9, 2015. It is the responsibility of the winning bidder(s) to understand their bank’s deadline for initiating wire transfers in order to ensure that the domestic wire transfer is initiated and a wire transmittal receipt provided to the USMS by the deadline. Failure to provide the USMS with a copy of the wire transmittal receipt by the deadline will result in disqualification, forfeiture of the deposit, and award to another bidder.
No bitcoin transfer will be made until the USMS has confirmed receipt of all purchase funds. The bitcoin transfer process will begin immediately following receipt of purchase funds, and may take several days depending on the number of winning bidders. The winning bidder(s) will be given private instructions related to the transferring of the bitcoins.
TERMS OF SALE
Payment. The bid must be an all cash offer. Bids that are contingent on financing terms of any kind will not be considered. All bids must be made in U.S. dollars.
Receipt of Funds. The winning bidder should be prepared to wire purchase funds to the USMS by 2:00 P.M. EST on Monday, November 9, 2015. If the winning bidder does not provide the USMS with a copy of the wire transmittal receipt by this date, the bidder will be disqualified and another winning bidder will be selected. FAILURE TO INITIATE A WIRE TRANSFER AND PROVIDE THE USMS WITH A COPY OF THE WIRE TRANSMITTAL RECEIPT BY MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2015, AT 2:00 P.M. EST WILL RESULT IN FORFEITURE OF THE BIDDER’S DEPOSIT. The winning bidder is responsible for any wire transfer fees associated with his or her payment.
Bitcoin Transfer. The USMS will not transfer any bitcoins until it has confirmed receipt of purchase funds from the buyer. The USMS will not transfer bitcoins to an obscene public address, a public address apparently in a country restricted by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), a public address apparently associated with terrorism, other criminal activities, or otherwise hostile to the United States.
Transfer Fees. Any transfer fees associated with the transfer of the bitcoins will be paid by the buyer. The buyer will be given an opportunity to select the amount of fees charged in the transfer.
Block Transactions. The USMS will only sell and transfer the bitcoins in blocks as described above.
Bidder Qualification. The USMS reserves the right to reject any bid for any reason whatsoever. The USMS reserves the right to sell all, some or none of the bitcoins at auction.
Bill of Sale. The winning bidder will receive a signed Bill of Sale from the United States Marshals Service.
The USMS does not make any representations or warranties regarding Bitcoin.
Questions related to the auction process should be directed to USMSBitcoins@usdoj.gov. The USMS in its discretion will respond directly to email communications or will post additional items to the “Frequently Asked Questions” section below. The USMS will not respond to any telephone inquiries from the general public. The USMS will not answer any questions regarding (a) the associated criminal or civil cases that resulted in the seizure of the bitcoins being auctioned, or (b) Bitcoin characteristics, uses or value.
The USMS will not sell to any person who is acting on behalf of or in concert with the Silk Road and/or Ross William Ulbricht, and bidders will be required to so certify.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1) How did the USMS get the authority to sell these bitcoins?
On January 27, 2014, the United States District Court for the District of New York entered a Stipulation and Order for Interlocutory Sale of Bitcoins. In this order, both the United States and Ross William Ulbricht agreed that “the United States, in its sole discretion, may sell any portion or all of these bitcoins, on a date or dates and in a manner to be determined by the Government.”
2) Can a foreign citizen participate in the auction?
Yes. However, bids will not be accepted from any person or entity that appears on the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control list of “Specially Designated Nationals.”
All deposit and purchase funds must be received from a U.S. bank. No exceptions.
3) Can I form a syndicate of buyers to participate in the auction?
Yes. The person or entity that registers to bid on this auction must satisfy all registration requirements, including certifying that the bidder is not acting in concert with the defendant or defendant entity. This certification extends and applies to all members of a syndicate. The primary bidder should perform whatever due diligence the bidder feels is necessary in order to comfortably make that certification.
4) How much money do I need to make a bid?
You are responsible for ensuring that you have enough available funds to cover your bid. If you are selected as a winning bidder, you must initiate a wire transfer and provide the USMS with a copy of the wire transmittal receipt by Monday, November 9, 2015, at 2:00 pm EST. Failure to initiate a wire deposit in the full amount of your bid will result in forfeiture of your deposit.
5) Is there a reserve price for this auction?
There is no disclosed reserve price for this auction. The United States Marshals Service reserves the right to sell some, all or none of the bitcoins for any reason.
6) What information about the auction process or results will the USMS release?
The USMS will contact the winning and losing bidders directly. The USMS will not release any information to the general public pertaining to the auction process or results.
7) How will my deposit be returned if I am not a winning bidder?
The USMS will send funds by Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfer. Please ensure that the financial institution from which your deposit was sent will accept an incoming ACH transfer before you register for the auction. In exceptional circumstances, judged on a case by case basis, the USMS will agree to send funds by wire transfer. Please know and understand the difference between these two types of funds transfers.
Your refund will be processed following the close of the auction. We will endeavor to initiate all refunds within five (5) business days following transfer of bitcoins to the winning bidder(s). Fund transfers are not immediate, as they are routed through the Department of Treasury (see paragraph below). If you provide incorrect information, it may take a week or longer to confirm that a transaction has been rejected before making another attempt. If you are sending funds from a foreign country using an intermediary U.S. bank, please be aware that receipt of refunds may take longer to process and confirm. Due to the foregoing factors, we cannot guarantee a date for you to receive your refund.
The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, 31 United States Code § 3716, requires the Department of the Treasury and other disbursing officials to offset Federal payments to collect delinquent debts owed to the United States, or delinquent debts owed to states, including past-due child support enforced by states. If an offset is made during an ACH transfer, the claimant will receive a notification from the Department of the Treasury at the address provided by the claimant. If you believe that your payment may be subject to an offset, you may contact the Treasury Department at the following number: 1-800-304-3107.
Bidder registration opens
Bidder registration and deposit due by Noon EST
USMS notifies parties about eligibility to participate in the online auction by 5:00 EST
Online auction period from
8:00 AM EST to 2:00 PM EST
Winning bidder notified by 5:00 PM EST
Winning bidder must initiate wire to the USMS by 2:00 PM EST