German Prosecutors have sold seized cryptocurrency worth €12 million ($13.9 million), the highest such sale in German legal history.
According to a report in German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel, the Bavarian sale reportedly involved 1312 Bitcoins (BTC), in addition to significant amounts of other digital currencies, including 1399 Bitcoin Cash, 1312 Bitcoin Gold, and 220 Ethereum.
The Cryptocurrencies had been seized during criminal proceedings, and prosecutors sold over them over course of two months in 1,600 individual transactions. The prosecutors stated, ‘since all cryptocurrencies are exposed to the risk of high price fluctuations or even total loss, the Bayern Central Cybercrime Office ordered an emergency sale.’ The funds were collected during criminal proceedings against online platform "Lesen und Lauschen," which offered over 200,000 e-books and audiobooks illegally, with payments starting at a few cents per item. Der Tagesspiegel explains at least 30,000 people used the platform, but the site operators were arrested last June by officers from the Bayern Central Cybercrime Office and the website subsequently banned.
Sales are common practice
Such sales are common practice in law enforcement cases. However, Germany’s haul of nearly $14 million pales against other actions. The US Marshals Service haul in January came to over $40 million when they seized 3,812 BTC in the course of civil and criminal proceedings. Last year, Bulgarian police seized 213,519 BTC valued at $3.3 billion, enough to pay off one-fifth of Bulgaria’s national debt.