On the 25th of September, Willsons Auctions, a UK auction house, will handle the sale of a lot of seized Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
The coins will be sold with no reserve, and according to a press release, mark the first such police auction in the UK to date.
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The same press release notes that the coins were seized as part of an investigation into identity theft and other online crimes.
“A leading advisory service for worldwide law enforcement agencies, Wilsons Auctions will manage the auction of the seized cryptocurrency on behalf of the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) having been seized from a criminal who illegally supplied online personal data and hacking services in exchange for thousands of pounds worth of cryptocurrency.”
Reportedly, 15 Bitcoin, and several other cryptocurrency lots will be listed for sale between the 25th and 26th, along with other luxury items acquired in the same case.
Governments the world over have seized and sold cryptocurrencies garnered through the sale of drugs and other online crimes. Cryptocurrency is rarely the only thing seized when a darknet criminal is nabbed; often luxury cars, jewelry, and other items that do well on the auction block are also taken.
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One of the most famous crypto criminals ever, Ross Ulbricht, received a life sentence for his role in creating the Silk Road, an online marketplace which enabled the sale of billions of dollars worth of drugs online.
Arguably, the darknet marketplace was Bitcoin’s first viable use case, with an outside market providing liquidity.
Wilsons Auctions previously ran an auction in Belgium for a total of more than 100 BTC, plus Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold derived from the same inputs. The company reports that it currently works with 17 governments.
Many governments operate their own auctions when items are seized, but so far some have decided to employ the expertise of companies like Wilsons.