According to reports, Bulgaria has more than 200,000 bitcoins. With the price of bitcoin rising, it is now worth about 2 billion US dollars, while the country's gold reserves are 40 tons, worth about 1.8 billion. For the first time in history, perhaps a country has more bitcoin holdings than its gold reserves.
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According to a press release issued by the South Eastern European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC) in May 2017, the Bulgarian authorities found more than 200 million bitcoins worth $500 million.
“With the support of SELEC, the Bulgarian authorities successfully completed the joint investigation… The Bulgarian authorities searched more than 100 addresses, suspects and vehicles and seized a large amount of funds, communication equipment, mining equipment, computers, tablets As well as bank documents, etc…. It has been determined that members of the criminal group will invest in Bitcoin from these illegal activities, and about 200,000 are found in the virtual space. For reference, a bitcoin is valued as $2,354."
The report presented a very accurate number of 213,519 bitcoins, which was worth about $500 million at the time. At the current price, these bitcoins are worth more than $2 billion. In terms of gold reserves, Bulgaria currently has 40,400 kilograms of gold, valued at $1.8 billion. But the Bulgarian government has somewhat avoided this.
In fact, Coindesk reported the news several months after the press release of European law enforcement agencies. Coindesk quoted Bulgarian investigative news media Bivol as saying that the Bulgarian Ministry of the Interior refused to provide public information about the case. The information Bivol requested was a proprietary information of the crime investigation, and the case belonged to the investigating prosecutor. However, on the second day of the Coindesk article, Bulgarian local media Dnevnik reported:
“The Prosecutor’s Office did not seize Bitcoin in a cyberattack investigation of customs agencies in May. This is what Ivan Geshev, Director of the Office of the Special Prosecutor, said today.”
However, local media Bivol wrote in April 2018 that Bulgarian Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov told the Prime Minister’s Security Committee that the auction of these assets had begun and was sold in small amounts to avoid a market crash. Goranov said that “several sovereign wealth funds and Asian investors” purchased the coins at an average price of about 15,000 euros, with Deloitte as a consultant.
The true truth is not known, but if the Bulgarian government really puts BTC Hodl up to now, its value of holding BTC will exceed the gold reserve.