Finnish Customs to Sell €65 Million Bitcoin Holding

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  • Finnish customs will sell 1,981 it has been building since 2016 in the coming months
  • The haul is now worth €65 million, and Finnish customs has reluctantly agreed to sell it
  • A prior planned sale in 2018 was axed due to concerns the bitcoin would be used illegally

Finnish customs will sell its €65 million worth of Bitcoin holdings in the coming months having held most of it for over four years. The authority has been building up its holding through action against dark web sellers since 2016, amassing almost 2,000 in the process. Despite fears that it could end up in the hands of criminals, Finnish customs has decided that it legally cannot hold onto the bitcoin any longer and so will cash it in in the coming months, registering a €64 million profit in the process.

Finnish Customs Collecting Bitcoin Since 2016

Finnish customs has been the beneficiary of some major dark web drugs busts in recent years, most notably Sipulimarket, which was taken down in December and Silkkitie which was shuttered in May 2019. Their biggest hauls however came back in 2016 when the dark web was flourishing, with the arrest of dark net drugs lord Douppikauppa in September of that year resulting in a haul of 1,666.

This inaction has been of benefit to Finnish customs, who have since added a further 315 to their stash, bringing their total current holdings to 1,981. At the time of the 2016 seizure the surrendered bitcoin was worth €891,000, but Bitcoin’s price action since then has brought the cash value of that holding to €55.4 million, with some €10 million worth added since then.

Unintentional Long Hold Reaps Dividends

Whereas many jurisdictions such as the U.S. sell their seized bitcoin as soon as they can, Finnish customs have been loath to act so quickly, citing concerns of further illegal use of the bitcoin if they were to sell it. According to Finnish website YLE, a planned auction of the bitcoin was cancelled over such fears, but there could finally be a sale in the coming months.

YLE reports that Finnish customs officials still hold fears that the bitcoin could still be used nefariously, but has conceded that, after holding it for over four years, it has no choice under currency legislation but to sell it. They may be against the concept of bitcoin, but they very likely won’t be against the idea of €65 million.