24,518 Bitcoins considered “the proceeds of crime” and confiscated by police are set to be auctioned in June, making it the first sale of its kind outside the US — where the sale set a standing for the cryptocurrency to be considered legal.
Valued at $18,213,691 in total at current exchange rates, the Bitcoin will be sold in blocks of 2,000 so as not to negatively affect the market.
Financial service firm Ernst & Young is co-ordinating the auction, and while they won’t confirm exactly where the Bitcoin was seized from, the BBC points out that 24,500 bitcoins were reported seized by police in Victoria in 2013, after an arrest for drug dealing online.
In 2015 SMH reported Victoria’s Asset Confiscation Operations department would “try to make the most of it” regarding the confiscated Bitcoin.
Bitcoin reached its highest value ($735) since August 2014 on Friday, and with the Bitcoin reward for miners set to halve on 14 July (protocol reduces the reward every four years or so) creating uncertainty, June is a prime time to sell.
The sale of the Bitcoin, even as a proceed of crime, sets a precedent and a statement that Bitcoin is legal. So it is interesting to note this auction even taking place basically acknowledges that Bitcoin is not illegal in Australia.