Finland is working towards selling nearly 2,000 bitcoins (BTC) which it seized from drug dealers
Finland’s customs agency is set to sell a stash of drug-linked bitcoins in its custody. The agency seized the bitcoins from drug trades years ago, and it is now ready to cash in on them, with the bitcoins now worth tens of millions of dollars.
The agency announced its plans on Tuesday, revealing that it has put everything in place to sell 1,981 bitcoins. Bitcoin has been rallying in recent months, with the cryptocurrency’s price briefly touching the $40,000 mark for the first time a few hours ago. Although it has retraced back to $38,000, the Finland customs agency would still make massive profits from the proposed bitcoins’ sale.
According to some estimates, the seized bitcoins, when sold, are enough to provide corona vaccines to more than four million Finns. It is difficult to estimate the exact value of the 1,981 bitcoins as the leading cryptocurrency’s price varies across exchanges. However, Bitcoin was trading at $38,000 over the past few hours and that could bring the seized bitcoins’ value to $75 million.
According to the agency, it would realise far more significant gains than expected when the bitcoins were seized from drug dealers in 2016. Back then, Bitcoin was trading at $600 per coin, and Finland would have sold the coins for roughly $1 million.
The Finland customs didn’t sell the bitcoins earlier fearing that they might re-enter the drug trade. However, the officials are putting aside such concerns and plan to sell the cryptocurrency. Pekka Pylkkänen, CFO of Customs, added that the agency would sell the bitcoins after talking it through with the Ministry of Finance. However, the customs agency is yet to set a date for the sale to take place. “The money received from the sale goes to the Finnish state, it does not remain with Customs“, Pylkkänen concluded.
The use of Bitcoin in crime has been one of the major concerns from governments and regulators across the globe. It hindered BTC from gaining early mass adoption and saw several governments crackdown on the use of the cryptocurrency. However, most countries are now rolling out regulations to guide the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as they slowly gain adoption and go mainstream.