Prosecutors in the German federal state of Bavaria have sold seized cryptocurrency worth €12 mln ($13.9 mln), the highest such sale in German legal history, local news Der Tagesspiegel reported May 28.
The sale reportedly involved 1312 Bitcoins (BTC), in addition to significant amounts of other digital currencies, including 1399 Bitcoin Cash, 1312 Bitcoin Gold, and 220 Ethereum. Cryptocurrencies which were seized during criminal proceedings were sold over the course of two months in 1,600 individual transactions. The prosecutors commented the sale:
“Since all cryptocurrencies are exposed to the risk of high price fluctuations or even total loss, the Bayern Centre Cybercrime Office ordered an emergency sale.”
Apparently, the charges had not been formally brought to the suspects yet, but German law allows the sale of seized assets if they are threatened by significant depreciation. As we know, the cryptocurrency market has been performing very poorly throughout the majority of 2018, so the prosecutors were forced to sell the coins. Bitcoin, for example, has been worth as much as $16,600 and as little as $6,700 in 2018. It remains to be seen whether they made the right decision or if the prosecutors should have applied the HODL philosophy.
Perhaps the most famous example of cryptocurrencies being confiscated by the authorities was when the FBI seized a very large amount of BTC from the infamous Silk Road dark web marketplace. Venture capitalist Tim Draper famously purchased $17 million worth of BTC in one of the auctions. In 2017, The U.S. Justice Department stated that a total of $48 million had been collected from auctioning the confiscated BTC.
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