U.S. government auctioned Bitcoin at discounted price

The U.S. government got involved in a Bitcoin auction that “don’t make sense.”

In a four-day auction that closed earlier this week, the U.S. government reportedly sold 9.45 Bitcoin (BTC) at notably discounted prices as compared to the current price in the market.

GSA Auctions, a service under the United States General Service Administration (GSA), held the auction. GSA serves as the online clearinghouse for the government for its surplus, federally-owned assets, and equipment.

The auctioned amount of BTC should have fetched a market value of $520,000 based on listed cryptocurrency prices around the time the auction was carried out. But the GSA reportedly only got $487,000 for the 9.45 BTC it has sold, indicating that the government-furnished Bitcoins were sold at discounted prices.

On the Bitcoin auction

Thomas Meiron, the regional commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, was coy when he talked about the BTC auction.

According to Bitcoinmagazine.com, the commissioner said, “Cryptocurrency is certainly some of the most unique items to ever come up for public sale on our GSA Auctions platform, but the excitement from our bidders is undeniable.”

He seemingly offered platitudes when he said, “It goes without saying that you never know what you’re going to find on GSA Auctions,” and not being able to provide answers to questions such as why the Bitcoins were put in action.

Of questionable origin

A fundamental property of Bitcoin (BTC) is its fungibility which ensures that the unspent transaction output (UTXO), normally referred to as “coin,” can be exchanged for another coin.

This fungibility, however, is sometimes put to the test as some exchanges reject BTC of doubtful origin for they might have been used for illegal purchases.

Along this line, it is a bit strange for the government-furnished Bitcoins to be sold at a discounted price as it is endorsed by U.S. regulators. GSA has not disclosed the origin of the 9.45 BTC it has auctioned earlier this week.


Image courtesy of Cointelegraph News/YouTube

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