South Korea’s government announced that it plans to ban the trading of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, and other governments have not been very supportive of cryptocurrencies either.
However, the U.S. government announced that it will sell Bitcoin to the public. However, you should not get your hopes up that the U.S. government is embracing the innovative technology.
This is just a single event where the U.S. Marshals Service periodically auctions off Bitcoins seized by federal agencies during criminal, civil and administrative assets forfeitures. This auction will occur on January 22, 2018, and all parties interested in bidding for a portion of the funds must register between January 11 and January 19, 2018. The U.S. Marshals Service has 3,816 Bitcoins available, which will be sold in blocks of 100, 500 and 813 Bitcoins.
One interesting aspect is that the U.S. Marshals Service will be earning significant profit on some of these transactions. In one 2016 case, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) confiscated Bitcoins from a person that had an estimated value of $500,000 at the time. At Bitcoin’s peak price in December 2017, those Bitcoins were worth more than $8 million.
Bitcoin lost about 30% since its peak price of almost $20,000 on December 17, 2017, and traded around $13,500 as of 2:30 p.m. on January 12, 2018. However even at that price, the Bitcoins confiscated in just this one case are still worth almost $5.5 million, more than 10 times its value at the time of confiscation approximately 18 months ago.
Despite the 30% loss in the past month, Bitcoin is 460% higher than it was six months ago and more than 1,500 higher than it was one year ago.