Authorities around the world regularly clampdown on cryptocurrency criminals and seize their Bitcoin. While most of this Bitcoin is sold, Finnish authorities are yet to decide the fate of the 15-million-euro worth Bitcoin bounty.
Customs deciding what to do with Bitcoin
Finnish Customs seized 1,666 Bitcoins worth about 15 million euros from drug criminals last year but hasn’t done anything about the crypto stack yet. The country’s Customs authority comes under the Ministry of Finance. The authority told the national public broadcasting service on Tuesday that they don’t intend to auction the Bitcoins. They fear that the money will be returned back to the criminals.
The problems have only been rising for the authority since the price of the coin has surged extensively since their confiscation. At the time of seizure, the coins were worth about 700,000 euros. However, the price has now increased by over 2000%. The customs were initially trying to auction the funds but decided to take a step back after citing concerns related to money laundering.
Finnish view on digital currencies?
According to the head of finance at Finnish Customs, Pekka Pylkkänen, cryptocurrencies are used for illicit services. The officer said,
“From our point of view, the problems are specifically related to the risk of money laundering. The buyers of cybercurrency rarely use them for normal endeavors.”
Note that the authorities hold a gold mine of Bitcoin alongside millions of euros in altcoins as well.
Note that US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin talked about Bitcoin and money laundering last year, suggesting that Bitcoin’s methods are different from cash. He spoke this as the US President Donald Trump ranted about the coin’s valuation is based on thin air. The US government has a very skeptical approach to digital currencies.
But not holding the coins for long enough could have cost the United States Marshals Service billions. On February 18, they sold a batch of Bitcoin confiscated during one of their enforcement actions. However, reputed industry figure Jameson Lopp suggests that waiting for a little more could have helped them get $1.7 billion more in valuation. Data compiled by Lopp suggests that they sold 185,230 Bitcoins.