Finnish Customs seized 1,666 bitcoins several years ago during major drug busts. The digital asset’s value has grown with almost 2,000% since then, and the authorities are wondering what they could do with all the bitcoins.
Finland’s Seized Bitcoins
Back in 2016, police raids in Finland were a common sight. The notorious black market, the Silk Road, was operating in full force, and some deals were transmitted in Bitcoin. Thus, as Finnish authorities made several successful arrests, they managed to confiscate a large amount of BTC.
Four years later, the Finnish Customs still hold 1,666 bitcoins, according to a recent report. Yet, even today, uncertainty flows through them on what to do. Customs’ finance director, Pekka Pylkkanen fears that if sold, the bitcoins could be reused for illicit activities:
“From our point of view, the problems are specifically related to the risk of money laundering. The buyers rarely use them for normal endeavors.”
However, Pykkanen might be the only one considering such an option. Juri Mattila, a researcher at the Finnish Institute of Economic Research, believes that Bitcoin’s usage for criminal purposes has decreased significantly in the past few years.
Henry Brade, the founder of a cryptocurrency-related firm, noted that most Bitcoin buyers are legitimate investors. He believes that they are plenty of legal manners to sell the assets, and liquidity is no issue today:
“Of course, if Customs sold off their bitcoin anonymously, the risk would be massive. But if they sold them in a sensible manner, I don’t see a problem here.
The Bitcoin market is very large, and a sum like that would not be a problem for buyers’ liquidity.”
The report also indicates that the Finnish Customs sit on other seized cryptocurrencies, as well.
Bitcoin’s Value On The Rise
Initially, the seized BTC had a value of approximately $760,000, as back then, it was trading at about $450. Over the years, the world’s leading cryptocurrency fluctuated with its price, but ultimately it has risen notably since 2016.
As of the time of this writing, Bitcoin is at $9,150. It means that the Finnish Customs’ assets now have a total value of over $14 million. This raises a legitimate question – if the value of an asset has increased with 1,900% in four years, should Finnish authorities sell it now?
Cryptopotato recently reported that the Winklevoss twins purchased two tickets to space in 2014 with 312.5 bitcoins, equal to $250,000 at the time. Today, the same amount is worth around $3 million.