Bitcoin Auctioned For Over $300,000 Euros After Police Apprehended Drug-Related Crypto Funds
Bitcoin And Similar Tokens Auctioned For Over $330,000 Euros After Police Seizure
Many people associate Bitcoin with crimes. This is a twisted vision that is often this way because people do not understand the asset very well, but they know of old stories like the Silk Road, the illegal marketplace in which people used Bitcoin to buy criminal goods. Sometimes, however, there are, in fact, illegal marketplaces who are shut down and get their Bitcoin seized. What happens then?
Now, a recent search operation made by the Belgian police discovered a total of 318 BTC, Bitcoin Gold (BTG) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) recently in the wallets of a criminal. According to the local media outlet VRT, the Bitcoins were auctioned and then sold for over $330,000 EUR.
The money belonged to two local drug dealers, which are both arrested at the time of this report. The digital assets were seized in 2015 but only auctioned now as the law took its time to decide what to do with them.
These assets were sold via the Central Agency of Seizure and Confiscation, which is set in Northern Ireland and is specialized in auctioning both luxury cars and cryptos, being one of the only companies in Europe that have a track record of doing it.
According to VRT, 6,400 bids were made for the Bitcoin and people from over 100 countries participated in the process.
The Minister of Justice of the country, Koen Geens, has affirmed that the goal of the government was to hit the criminals “where it really hurts, their wallets”. The money would be used by the government later.
People on Reddit have made fun of the story, saying it was foolish to sell cryptocurrencies like that. Someone said that he wished they did this with cash and sold $100,000 USD for only $33,000 USD, too.
Bitcoin And Criminality
While it is a very foolish notion to associate Bitcoin with criminality and only that, one cannot deny that criminals have often used cryptocurrencies. Silk Road comes to mind, but there are also several other black markets which used to accept it, especially in the dark web (though some only accept privacy coins like Monero these days).
The usage of crypto for criminals date as back as its creation in the last decade. However, most of the time the criminals are not aware that Bitcoin is trackable and this way, the police was able to recover the illegal money several times.
It may be hard to do it, but today the police have new means of discovering who is using Bitcoin illegally. This has caused seizures of money from illegal marketplaces just like this one.
In many of these occasions, the police decided to auction the Bitcoin later in order to get rid of it or they would simply have to sit on a literal pile of money forever without using it.