Competition Among Seized Bitcoin Auctions Might Get Tougher
Belarus could join the growing ranks of countries that allow government agencies and police forces to seize and auction cryptoassets, closing legal loopholes that currently bar the seizure of digital coins.
In an interview, Ivan Noskevich, the head of the Belarusian Investigative Committee, told state-run broadcaster Capital TV that his organization had requested that government draw up new criminal procedure legislation that will allow law enforcement agencies to confiscate crypto.
Across the border in Russia, the Ministry of Internal Affairs has led efforts to create a similar legislative proposal, which could allow crypto seizures by the end of 2021.
If Minsk introduces the legislation, cryptocurrencies confiscated by police and other law enforcers could eventually be put up for auction.
For example, in Ireland, independent auctioneer Wilsons Auctions is set to host the country’s first-ever public cryptocurrency auction, with over some USD 125,255 worth of bitcoin (BTC) to be sold on behalf of the Belgian government later this month.
Wilsons Auctions said, in a statement,
“[The holdings] will be split across lots ranging from BTC 0.25 to 1 while other cryptocurrencies will contain larger number of coins including bitcoin cash (BCH) and bitcoin gold (BTG). The online auction of cryptocurrency will run for 24 hours from UTC 12:00 on March 24, and will begin to time out from UTC 12:00 on March 25.”
In the UK, Wilsons Auctions successfully auctioned cryptocurrency worth some USD 392,000 on behalf of the country’s police force last September. The company ran unreserved auctions that marked the first attempt by the UK police to raise funds through the sale of seized crypto.
The auctions attracted more than 7,500 bids from countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, the UAE and Singapore.
Wilsons Auctions said at the time,
“The cryptocurrency [holdings] were sold across 62 lots and included bitcoin, ethereum (ETH), XRP and more. Despite one of the most significant market price declines in recent months during the auctions, the crypto assets achieved over the market value. A single bitcoin achieved an average sale price of USD 8,855.”
Similar auctions have also taken place in the United States. Last month, the US Marshals Service stated that it was selling more than BTC 4,041 in a sealed bid auction that took place between February 3 and 12, with a required deposit of USD 200,000 per participant.
The crypto holdings were seized by the police in a number of federal criminal, civil and administrative cases.