US to auction 2700 bitcoins
US government to auction 2,700 seized bitcoinsGetty Images

The US government said it will auction around 2,719 bitcoins forfeited in various federal criminal, civil and administrative cases. The confiscated bitcoins are worth approximately $1.6m (£1.23m).

The US Marshal Service (USMS) in a statement said the auction will consist of one block and participants will be required to deposit $100,000. The USMS has provided details on all the court cases the bitcoins were seized from. These cases include that of Carl Mark Force IV, convicted Silk Road administrator Ross William Ulbricht and bitcoins seized by the US Department of Homeland Security, the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco and the Internal Revenue Service.

Those interested in bidding for the digital currency can register between 8 and 18 August. The auction will take place on 22 August. Only those who have received an official bid from USMS will eligible to participate in the online auction.

The USMS said it was granted permission to sell the bitcoins through court orders. Not only bidders from the country, but foreign citizens can also participate in the auction. However, bids will not be accepted from anyone who appears on the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control list of "Specially Designated Nationals".

The USMS will not release details pertaining to the auction process or results to the general public, except the registered bidders. This is the first auction of the digital currency this year. Most of the bitcoins that were previously auction were linked to Silk Road, reports Coindesk.

Around 24,518 bitcoins confiscated by Australian police in May 2015 were auctioned off. The digital currency worth about £8m was sold in blocks of 2,000, with each block having a market value of £680,000.