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Seized Crypto Millions Auctioned by German Prosecutors

Bavarian prosecutors are to auction off seized cryptocurrency worth nearly USD 14 million, estimated to be the highest such sale in German history, reports Cointelegraph.

The sale, originally reported in local news source Der Tagesspeigel on 28 May, involves 1,312 Bitcoins (BTC) and other digital currencies including 1,399 Bitcoin Cash, 1312 Bitcoin Gold, and 220 Ethereum.

The funds were confiscated as part of an investigation into online platform LuL.to. It is estimated that at least 30,000 people had used the platform before the website was shut down and the site operators were arrested last June by officers from the Bayern Central Cybercrime Office, according to Der Tagesspeigel.

German prosecutors stated that “since all cryptocurrencies are exposed to the risk of high price fluctuations or even total loss, the Bayern Central Cybercrime Office ordered an emergency sale”.

The seized cryptocurrencies were reportedly sold over the course of two months in 1,600 separate transactions with the selloff beginning in late February when the price of Bitcoin had plummeted from almost USD 20,00 to around USD 11,400. During the sale, the price dipped again to below USD 7,000 and then rose back to USD 9,000. With Bitcoin currently at around USD 7,400 at time of press, it seems as though the Bavarian police have timed it well, unless Bitcoin rebounds again in the future, suggests Fortune.

The auctioning of crypto assets seized by enforcement authorities is not unusual. In January this year, the US Marshals Service raised over USD 40 mln from the auction of BTC 3,812 seized during the course of civil and criminal proceedings in January. Other countries such as Sweden and Ukraine began auctioning seized Bitcoin last year, and earlier this year about BTC 2,000 was confiscated by the Finnish government after assets were seized from blockchain market Valhalla.

One of the most notable in terms of size was a seizure by Bulgarian police last year estimated to be enough to pay off one-fifth of Bulgaria’s national debt; a sum that would be worth approximately USD 1.5 billion at today’s Bitcoin price.

 

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