Monday 16 September 2019

Finns on the money as they confiscate 2,000 Bitcoin in clampdown

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Kati Pohjanpalo

Finland is trying to work out how to handle the roughly 2,000 Bitcoins authorities in the country have confiscated.

Worth almost €35m on December 18, 2017, when the cryptocurrency peaked, the Bitcoins are now valued at about €19m. Finnish government guidelines make it clear that authorities handling the coins won't be allowed to store them on virtual currency exchanges.

Instead, they'll be required to keep them off the Internet. Most of the coins have been confiscated in dozens of raids conducted since 2016, according to the customs office in Helsinki. It declined to say how it's been storing the cryptocurrencies until now.

The new guidelines also state that authorities can't treat Bitcoin or its crypto competitors like a currency.

It's an asset that, as a rule, can't be used or accepted as a means of payment or as an investment, according to the Treasury document. Cryptocurrencies seized by the Finnish state can be converted into euro after a court ruling on their appropriation has become binding.

The sales should primarily take place via public auctions rather than commercial exchanges, which can be untrustworthy and opaque, the Treasury said. (Bloomberg)

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