Bitcoin Auction in the News This Week
Bitcoin auction as the result of forced seizure is becoming a familiar story.
Our traders and clients are honest people. But bitcoin is the currency of choice for the dark web. It is unfortunate. But it is the reality.
There are certain characteristics of bitcoin that make it attractive to criminals. Its unique properties make it particularly convenient for cyber-criminals.
Occasionally such nefarious actors are caught by authorities. Then, where possible, there assets are seized. Such assets can include bitcoins.
This week marks the first bitcoin auction, from seized criminal proceeds, outside of the United States. It was a landmark occasion. Some 24,518 bitcoins are to be placed on the virtual bidding block. On current market rates that is around 242,489,260 Rand. This is quite the hefty sum.
Australia to auction millions in confiscated bitcoins https://t.co/ym01qsVNay
— RT (@RT_com) May 30, 2016
This auction is taking place in Australia, as part of a proceeds from crime seizure. Specifically, it was reported that the haul was taken from a man convicted of drug trafficking in Australia in commercial quantities.
The most notable auction by authorities, previous to this, was when the U.S. Marshals office auctioned over 170,000 BTC over 2014 and 2015. These were the proceeds from the famous Silk Road seizure.
Bitcoin Auction International Interest
Although the auction was held in Australia, by Ernst and Young, as the result of a seizure by Australian authorities, the auction was open to foreign nationals also. Investment houses, forex, investment banking and hedge funds have all shown interest in the digital asset auction.
Bitcoin Surges To 2016 Highs On Rising Chinese Demand; Decouples From Gold https://t.co/UBlb4Smuz3
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) May 27, 2016
Bitcoin is in very high demand at the moment. There are huge premiums being paid in the usual capital control markets like South Africa and China. Also OTC (Over The Counter) traders are having trouble keeping up with demand from their clients. The halving in regular bitcoin supply, approaching in a few weeks, will only put further pressure on supply side economics.
With the Bitcoin price trading at near 2-year highs, it is certainly a convenient time for authorities to profit from the seizure.