Crypto Feb 29, 2020

The Problem With Finland’s Excessive Bitcoin Stash

The Bitcoin anomaly in Finland is quite profound. The customs agency happens to have a cryptocurrency overload of a tentative figure of over sixteen million, and there is a pressing weight of confusion over how to deal with the situation.

Tulli, the Finnish government agency, is responsible for the massive seizure of 1666  Bitcoin. According to press reports, this happened in late September 2016 after muscling in on a drug distribution ring operating on the dark web.

Since that date, the value of the asset, which, at the time of the seizure was worth a little under one million dollars, has, over time, exponentially escalated by a scale factor of nearly fifteen percent. This is a testament to the volatility of cryptocurrency.

The previously suggested solution to deal with this crypto overload was to auction the entire sum of the digital coins in bits to online traders. This option was, however, ruled off given that it presented the risk of transferring the ownership of the coins to the malicious mandate of online criminal groups, a price that would be too painful to bear.

The director of the agency, Mr. Pekka Pylkkanen, made a statement declaring that the agency identifies that the issue all boils down to a professional degree of money laundering given that the purchasers of such staggering sums of cryptocurrency rarely do so with an honest meaning agenda. The agency also disclosed that it is the possession of yet another equally large cryptocurrency batch whose value could amount to over a million euros.

Sentiments from the director about the cons of Bitcoin triggered quite a bit of a discussion in the cryptocurrency community, most of which counter-argued his claim. Elliptic, a blockchain startup that specializes in identifying nefarious dealings facilitated by Bitcoin, made public its findings that in the past year, only $829 million worth of Bitcoin had been transacted on the dark web.

This translates to just but a mere 0.5% of all transactions.

To complement Elliptic's findings, crypto expert Henry Brande confessed to a Finnish public broadcaster, Yle, that a significant majority of individuals buying Bitcoin, are investors trying to benefit from the volatile assets as opposed to cybercriminals.

He pointed out that he sees no sense in the reluctance of the agency to auction the asset. He added that if the assets are offered in an orderly/policed manner as opposed to them being anonymously auctioned, there should not be any reason for the concern that the Bitcoin will end up in the wrong hands.

Elsewhere in the world, it appears that most governments do not share the same cautionary hesitation with regards to auctioning their confiscated Bitcoin. Just last week, the US government issued out a whopping auction of about 40 million dollars worth of Bitcoin as reported by Decrypt.

This is not a one-time occurrence. The US has been known to issue such public offerings for quite some time now. They then use the capital gains from the auction, which are often in the millions, to fund developmental projects in the country.

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