German Authorities Auction Over 200 Bitcoin Seized From Cybercriminals
Authorities in Germany announced the auction of Bitcoin starting Monday, October 25. The Ministry of Justice of North Rhine-Westphalia set up a public auction for Bitcoin that the police seized from cybercriminals. Over 200 Bitcoin was up for grabs in a two-day sale.
The western German state runs the only central online auction portal in Germany’s justice system. And it regularly puts up various types of seized goods for auction. Although auctioning off confiscated crypto is normal, the announcement of this Bitcoin auction spurred a frenzy in Germany. Approximately 4,000 new users registered on the auction platform in the last few days.
The Ministry of Justice said they must treat the crypto the same way as other seized goods – by auctioning them.
The Justice Ministry Announces Auction
There was a frenzy on Twitter last week when the Ministry of Justice announced that it would auction off confiscated Bitcoin. The seized crypto is worth tens of millions of euros. The Ministry did not expect the number of responses they got, according to a local report.
25.10.21, 11.30 Uhr: Start Bitcoin-Aktion in der ZAC NRW. Jeder Euro, der kriminellen Strukturen entzogen wird, trägt dazu bei,diese zu schwächen. Minister Biesenbach & ZAC erklären, bei welchen Delikte virtuelle Währungen eine Rolle spielen u wie d Strafverfolger damit umgehen. pic.twitter.com/zoRjO04GZy— Ministerium der Justiz NRW (@JM_NRW) October 21, 2021
“We expected a lot of interest, but that is beyond our imagination,” says press spokeswoman Hilal Tanrisever.
The hype, however, is understandable. Just last week, the digital currency reached an all-time high a day after the first bitcoin-futures ETF launched in the U.S. Many investors expect the value to rise well above $100,000 by the end of the year.
The use of cryptocurrencies in cybercrimes has been increasing. The Bitcoin put up for auction was seized in connection with criminal offenses over the encrypted Darknet. The law enforcement authorities reportedly seized the Bitcoin over several years.“Each euro that’s extracted from criminal networks helps weakens them,” the Justice Ministry said on Twitter.
According to Peter Biesenbach, Managing Minister of Justice North Rhine-Westphalia, cryptocurrencies are not only popular with legitimate users but “unfortunately also with criminals.”
He also says that cryptocurrencies are “the dream of every cybercriminal.”
The North Rhine-Westphalia Justice Ministry broadcasted the auction on Twitter and Youtube.
The government auctioned the Bitcoin on its auction website. In total, the 215 Bitcoin has a current value of about $13 million, and the proceeds will go to the state treasury. When he started the countdown to the auction, Biesenbach stated: “The Finance Minister is keeping his fingers crossed for us.”
The minimum bid was set at 42,400 euros ($49,197), below Bitcoin’s current price. However, the first bidder offered 56,060 euros ($65,010).
The prosecutors could only guess why the bidders were placing their bids above the market value. “Perhaps because you know that you will get the goods from us,” said a judge spokeswoman.Source