US government-backed GSA Auctions is currently hosting an online Bitcoin auction called the “Fall for Cryptocurrency”. In this event, the federal US government is auctioning 4.94 Bitcoin tokens amounting to over $300,000 as per Bitcoin's current trading price of $63,925 (roughly Rs. 48 lakh) per token. GSA Auctions is a service of US' General Service Administration (GSA) that is responsible for clearing surplus assets held federally. This online auction began on Tuesday, September 26 and will conclude on Thursday, October 28.
GSA Auctions posted details about the event on their region-focussed Twitter handles.
GSA usually sells off Bitcoin tokens at discounted prices. In April, for instance, GSA Auctions sold nearly 10 Bitcoin tokens worth $520,000 (roughly Rs. 4 crore) at the time for six percent lower the price, which was $487,000 (roughly Rs. 3.6 crore), as per a report by Bitcoin Magazine.
The news about the latest event, however, has triggered privacy concerns among Bitcoin enthusiasts in the US, some of whom have expressed themselves on Twitter.
Nearly 5 #BTC worth over $300k to be auctioned in 5 different lots in an online auction event ‘Fall for Cryptocurrency' hosted by US Govt. between October 26 and 28, 2021. Privacy seems to be the real cost of such a purchase at more than 6% below market price.— #Hawk (@___Hawk____) October 27, 2021
The report by Bitcoin Magazine also notes that for a marginal discount, buyers are trading their personal information with the US government in terms of an invasive Know-Your-Customer (KYC) protocol.
Regardless, these Bitcoin tokens will be auctioned amid the growing craze around cryptocurrencies in the US and in many other parts of the world.
For instance, former US presidential candidate Andrew Yang recently launched a new political initiative, rooting for the regulation of cryptocurrencies in the country.
Last week, American retail giant Walmart announced the installation of 200 Bitcoin ATMs in its select store branches located across the US.
The US for now, much like other countries including India and Pakistan, lacks a solid foundation to regulate and benefit from decentralised cryptocurrencies.
The crypto market is meanwhile witnessing a rapid expansion worldwide.
This month, the market capitalisation of all the cryptocurrencies put together crossed a milestone of $2.5 trillion (roughly Rs. 1,87,42,625 crore) according to cryptocurrency tracker CoinMarketCap.