Although some governments have chosen to sell bitcoin confiscated through law enforcement operations, Finland has not yet decided how to dispose of these confiscated assets.
According to Finnish media reports yesterday, customs under the Finnish Ministry of Finance have been considering how to handle the 1,666 bitcoins seized from drug dealers a few years ago.
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Finnish customs do not want to auction the confiscated bitcoin as it could cause it to flow back into the hands of criminals.
Bitcoin confiscated in Finland has risen by 2000%
According to this report, the confiscated bitcoin was worth less than 700,000 euros, or about $ 760,000. At press time, 1666 bitcoins were worth 14.09 million euros, more than 15.2 million US dollars. According to reports, the agency initially planned to auction the funds in 2018, but eventually chose to keep them because of concerns over “anti-money laundering” issues.
Pekka Pylkkänen, head of finance at the Finnish Customs Administration, said cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are mainly used for illegal activities:
"In our opinion, these issues are specifically related to the risk of money laundering. Online currency buyers rarely use them for normal activities."
The report also pointed out that, in addition to holding more than $ 15 million in bitcoin, Finnish customs have confiscated and held millions of euros in competing coins.
U.S. loses $ 1.7 billion due to premature auction of Bitcoin
Regardless of the reasons for Finnish customs' decision to hold the collected cryptocurrency, the country is obviously not the only country that believes that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may be more dangerous than cash in terms of money laundering. In July 2019, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expressed a very skeptical view of Bitcoin, arguing that cash is laundered in a different way than Bitcoin.
At the same time, the U.S. doesn't seem to care so much about profiting from hoarding bitcoin. On February 18, the U.S. Marshals Service sold another batch of bitcoin confiscated during law enforcement operations. According to data compiled by Jameson Lopp, a well-known crypto industry expert, the U.S. Marshals Agency sold the seized Bitcoin prematurely, losing more than $ 1.7 billion .
According to Lopp, the agency has confiscated and sold 185,230 bitcoins.