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Bitcoin Sells for a Bargain in German Auction

2 mins
Updated by Ryan James
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In Brief

  • Seized bitcoin goes up for auction by German law enforcement officials.
  • The bitcoin bounty started at 42,400 euros while bitcoin surged over $62,000.
  • The bitcoin was extracted as a result of a cybercrime from an online criminal network.
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A seized amount of bitcoin lured crypto bargain hunters at an online auction hosted by German law enforcement. 

The auction took place on the website of Germany’s Justice Ministry of North Rhine-Westphalia. This is the most populous state in Germany. Items up for grabs in such auctions appear from criminal cases. In this case of the bitcoin up grabs, a cybercrime. 

Along with the confiscated bitcoin, a Porsche Cayenne and a harp were up for grabs. In Germany, prosecutors cannot sell seized goods on the market, including bitcoin. Everything must go up for auction.

However, unlike the other items in the auction queue, the bitcoin brought a flurry of inquiries to the local authorities. According to said authorities the auction platform received 4,000 new registered users since the bitcoin announcement. 

Moreover, the minimum listed bid started at 42,400 euros ($49,281).  The first bid on the bitcoin was for 56,060 euros. Simultaneously the price of bitcoin continued its surge over $62,000. Bitcoin reached its new all-time high (ATH) of $67,000 on Thursday, October 21, 2021. 

Despite bitcoin reaching a new all-time high, the price currently hovers just under $63,000

For local German authorities the auction was less about bitcoin and more about cybersecurity. “Each euro that’s extracted from criminal networks helps weaken them,” the Justice Ministry said.

Cybersecurity Priority 

Currently, cybersecurity is a hot topic both inside and out of the crypto space. 

In the U.S. regulators stepped up their game in cybersecurity, with proactive and combative measures. Senator Elizabeth Warren recently issued a draft of what will be the “Ransomware Disclosure Act”. This new piece of legislation comes are ransomware attacked increased over the last year. 

In a similar vein the Department of Justice (DoJ) formed a cryptocurrency crime ‘enforcement team’ this year. Their goal is to stop cybercrime related to or using cryptocurrencies. Moreover, the Treasury issued a series of guidelines for crypto-related businesses last week. While the guidelines aren’t specifically for cybersecurity purposes many of said guidelines are in place for the enhancement thereof. 

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Savannah Fortis
Savannah Fortis is a multimedia journalist covering stories at the intersection culture, international relations, and technology. Through her travels she was introduced to the...