Tax authorities in Lithuania have joined the ranks of government officials selling confiscated cryptocurrencies. According to an official statement, the State Tax Inspectorate (STI) auctioned off cryptocurrencies worth 6.4 million euros (about $7.6 million), transferring funds to state coffers.
Easier Confiscation Processes
The statement confirmed that the STI had seized the assets back in February this year. The assets include Bitcoin, Ether, and Monero tokens, although the process through which they were sold remains unclear.
Irina Gavrilova, a representative from the STI, explained that the entire conversion process took about a day. The STI noted that the conversion process involved creating a crypto wallet to receive tokens from law enforcement agencies that had seized them in the first place.
However, the tax authority also remains confident that they can find more comfortable and faster ways to sell confiscated assets in the future.
No Use Keeping Seized Crypto
Lithuania is entering an ever-growing field of countries that sell seized digital assets. Most of them go through the auction route, deciding to release their seized assets back into circulation at lower costs.
Last month, the National Agency for the Management of Seized Assets (ANABI) in Romania announced a public auction of confiscated Ether and Bitcoin tokens. The auction came following a ruling from the Prosecutor’s Office in Ploiesti Court.
While ANABI didn’t disclose how many tokens it was going to auction off, its requirements led to believe that they were quite substantial.
“Taking into account the nature of the moveable property put up for auction, the successful tenderer will have to inform the Agency, to proceed with the transfer, about the BTC and ETH public addresses associated to a virtual currency trading platform,” the announcement explained.
However, hardly does any country measure up to the United States when it comes to crypto seizures. The United States Marshals Service (USMS) has been conducting Bitcoin auctions for years. In 2018, it auctioned off Bitcoin three times, selling 3,800 BTC, 2,100 BTC, and 660 BTC in January, March, and October, respectively. It had seized most of these tokens from criminals in various cases.
This year, the USMS announced that it would auction off about 4,040 BTC – worth $38.4 million at the time. Prospective bidders were to pay an initial $200,000 participation fee, with non-winning bidders getting their money back eventually.
The law enforcement agency now looks poised to continue its streak, and it is currently searching for a partner. In June, industry news sources confirmed that the USMS was looking for a custody partner to help handle crypto disposals and management.
The agency is reportedly looking for a company to handle the digital assets it seizes. It published an Evaluation Factors for Award describing its required storage process, as well as a Performance of Work (PoW) document that showed a successful contractor’s performance objectives.