Finland Looking For Ways to Store 2,000 Confiscated Bitcoin
Following new guidelines from Finland’s Treasury published on Tuesday, Finnish authorities are now trying to devise a means to store 2,000 Bitcoins confiscated since 2016.
According to Bloomberg, the Treasury guidelines prohibit authorities from storing the stash - currently worth around USD 22.8 million - on virtual exchanges or services. Instead, they are to be kept off the internet, in a cold storage. Finnish authorities have declined to comment on how the confiscated coins have been kept up to now.
According to the customs office in Helsinki, most of the coins have been confiscated in dozens of raids conducted since 2016.
In this case, the Finnish government prohibits authorities from considering any crypto asset as currency; rather, it is defined as “an asset that, as a rule, can’t be used or accepted as a means of payment or as an investment,” according to the Treasury document.
After a binding court ruling on the confiscation of these Bitcoins, the Finnish state will convert the assets into euros at public auctions, since commercial exchanges can be “untrustworthy and opaque,” says the Treasury.
Confiscated cryptocurrency being auctioned off by the state is not without precedent. In December 2017, during an undercover bust of an underground crime network, Bulgaria has seized enough Bitcoin to pay off a fifth of its national debt - a stunning 213,519 Bitcoins, at the time valued at USD 3.5 billion.
Following this case, on January 22nd, the US Marshal’s Office auctioned off 3,813 Bitcoins seized in criminal investigations, the sum of which amounted to nearly USD 50 million on commercial exchanges.