The Finnish government is looking for a cryptocurrency broker who can sell a collection of confiscated bitcoin worth up to $78 million. The bitcoins were seized by law enforcement during narcotics and doping busts. Candidates can register until 30 August 2021.
The Sale is On
The long-awaited sale of Finland’s bitcoin hoard has finally begun. Yesterday, Finnish customs issued a call for tenders from cryptocurrency brokers. Finland wants to find a reputable broker who can safely and reliably carry out the sale of 1,981 bitcoins.
Most of the customs agency’s cryptocurrency collection dates from 2016, when law enforcement seized 1,666 in a major drug bust. Back then, the value didn’t even amount to a couple hundred thousand. Fast forward five years and suddenly, the hoard is worth millions.
Finland made plans to sell the drug-linked bitcoin before, in 2018. However, officials then decided against it. They said that the virtual money would simply re-enter the drug trade or end up in the hands of cybercriminals. Later that year, the Finish government drew up guidelines regarding cryptocurrencies and released a Government Proposal to regulate cryptocurrency providers.
Perfectly Legal Investment
In itself, Cryptocurrency is a completely legal, alternative payment method. The pioneering and most popular cryptocurrency is Bitcoin, with a market share of around 60 – 65%. That’s around five times more than the world’s second most-popular cryptocurrency, Ethereum.
Nowadays, there are also many digital currency alternatives. Some are worth money, just like Bitcoin. Others are digital tokens that unlock certain products and services. This can be anything, from software to rewards.
Not surprisingly, many people, and especially millennials, have embraced virtual money. Especially since the value of many cryptocurrencies has gone through the roof. The only thing people need to buy and sell cryptocurrencies safely, is a digital wallet. Transactions incur zero or low fees and, in most countries, virtual money is easily and legally portable.
Back to Finland
The 1,981 bitcoins were transferred to the state by the court. The aim of Finnish customs is to find a permanent mechanism to sell cryptocurrencies forfeited to the State, now and in the future.
Finland expects to conclude a framework agreement with up to three brokers. The estimated value of the service is € 250,000 over two years. That fee could rise to € 2 million euros “as there may be more cryptocurrency seizures and as the value of the assets tends to change quickly”. Candidates can register until 4 pm on 30 August 2021.
The US was the first country to put confiscated bitcoins up for sale, in 2014. The US Marshals Service auctioned off 29,656 forfeited bitcoins. This hoard was part of 144,000 bitcoins law enforcement seized in an earlier raid on Silk Road. The auction drew more than 40 bidders. At the time, 30,000 bitcoins were worth about $18 million, compared to 2,000 worth up to $80 million today…