Lul.to, a German audio and e-book pirate platform, trafficked in close to a quarter million titles, serving 30,000 users. Summer of last year, the country’s Cyber Crime Competence Center (SN4C) shut the site down and arrested its operators. A basket of cryptocurrencies were seized in the process. Over a two month period, they were sold off to the public, raking-in a cool €12 million ($13.8 million), the highest take in the nation’s legal history.
German Authorities Sell Off Cryptos, Earn Millions
Der Tagesspiegel is reporting that proceeds from seized crypto “achieved total just over 12 million euros,” the German news agency quoted a Bamberg prosecutor. The article continues, “In total, 1,312 bitcoins were sold. There were also significant amounts of other cryptocurrencies: 1,399 Bitcoin Cash, 1,312 Bitcoin Gold, and 220 Ether. The sales process lasted for almost two months: in more than 1,600 individual transactions, the crypto-money was sold from the end of February to the end of April on a German-based trading platform.”
As governments are wont, they usually treat cryptocurrency as a perennially in-flux asset, and work to unload it quickly … without much thought. Though prosecutor Thomas Goger insisted prices “did not matter,” prices of bitcoin core (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin gold (BTG), and ether (ETH) slid, minus a slight recovery, pretty heavily during the government sell off, begun 20 February of this year.
Der Tagesspiegel quoted state prosecutors as explaining, “Since all cryptocurrencies are exposed to the risk of high price fluctuations or even total loss, the Bayern Central Cybercrime Office ordered an emergency sale,” which the news agency described as akin to “treating [cryptocurrencies] like perishable foods.”
Previous records in the country for such auctions came at the end of 2017, where authorities riding the wave of massive price spikes were able to nab €2 million. And often law enforcement is lucky at all to have recovered anything, as usually rather large crypto sums are spread out among various types of wallets, cold and hot. “The accused have cooperated,” Mr. Groger was quoted as noting.
As a relative amount, the largest German take pales in comparison to Bulgarian authorities who, in 2017 were able to pay off 20 percent of the country’s national debt after it gained $3.3 billion. The United States, early this year, was able to raise $40 million in auction efforts, more than twice of Germany’s present, and history, haul.
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