After selling all the Bitcoin, as well as other cryptocurrencies they managed to seize in criminal investigations over the past months, the German authorities managed to gather a total of $14 million.
The Police wanted to get rid of everything as soon as possible
According to Fortune, citing a report from a local newspaper, this was an emergency sale, as the Bavarian justice treasury was actually concerned about the volatility of the market, which could have had a big negative impact on the total amount.
Usually, emergency sales are reserved for perishable goods, like food, as well as items which tend to easily depreciate in value, like cars.
The authorities sold a varied portfolio of cryptocurrencies, including 1,312 Bitcoin, 1,399 Bitcoin Cash tokens, 1,312 Bitcoin Gold tokens, and 220 Ether. Everything was seized in a raid on a platform called LuL.to, selling copyrighted ebooks and audiobooks at very low prices, illegally, of course.
Back in June 2017, the website was seized and eventually blocked, while the webmasters were arrested and all the assets went in a fund that is normally used for police resourcing.
It wasn’t easy to sell everything!
It took a few months to sell all the cryptocurrencies, as the German authorities made more than 1600 transactions on a German cryptocurrency trading platform, totaling just over 12 million euros, which roughly translates to $13.9 million.
They started the transactions in late February, when Bitcoin was already sinking, after managing to reach almost $20,000 by the end of 2017. Specifically, they traded one coin for around $11,400. Until the entire amount was sold, the price went below $7,000, then back to $9,000 again. Overall, their timing was relatively good, unless Bitcoin will make a surprising rebound later this year.
The seize was by far one of the biggest in Germany, but it’s far from being a world premiere. American authorities are making way more money off seized cryptocurrencies for a while now.
For example, in October 2017, the Justice Department sold Bitcoins with a total worth of $48 million, coming from Ross “Dread Pirate Roberts” Ulbricht, the operator of the Silk Road online drug market. As a side note, the entire amount was sold a few years ago, when a coin was worth just $330.