Finnish Government Mandates Public Auction For Confiscated Cryptocurrency
The Finnish government is reportedly preparing to auction cryptocurrency of about 2,000BTCs confiscated in 2016 in connection with drug trafficking.
The news source states that Finland’s authorities currently hold around 2,000 BTC that have been confiscated in raids since 2016, as per data from the customs office. At the current BTC price, the 2,000 BTC will worth around $23 million.
“We recommend public auctions for the [sale of] Bitcoins, an auction can be used to identify the buyer and whether the state receives a payment, and the risks associated with handling bitcoins will be passed on to the public,” said Mikko Kangaspunta, head of the treasury, according to a rough translation.
On Tuesday, the Finnish government issued new guidelines defining how law enforcement agencies should handle confiscated virtual currencies.
Official agencies that store cryptocurrencies no longer have the right to place funds on exchanges and will instead keep them offline and inaccessible on the Internet, according to a Bloomberg report citing official Treasury documents.
The new guideline indicates that once a court has decided that the funds will not be returned to the owner, says Bloomberg, they can be exchanged for euros. The paper recommends that, for security reasons, the sale be made by public auction rather than by cryptocurrency trading.
Other governments have face the dilemma of not knowing what to do with cryptocurrencies they confiscate. While it’s not clear how they must store cryptocurrencies, the solution is to simply auction them off publicly. According to the report, the Treasury would be selling the bitcoins in a series of auctions to ensure that it achieves optimal pricing.
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