The Ministry of Justice of North Rhine-Westphalia has begun its first auction of confiscated bitcoin, as announced on October 25.
The first tranche of the 215 bitcoins that the ministry has accumulated is now on sale on the state's auction platform, with bidding set to end on October 27. While the ministry estimates the market value of bitcoin at 54,000 euro ($62,700 USD), the smaller lots of .1 or .5 bitcoin seem to be trading above that benchmark.
The largest lot, of 10 bitcoins, is seeing a noticeable discount as of press time, having received only four bids.
The ministry said that it had seized the bulk of the bitcoin up for auction during investigations into darknet marketplaces. Proceeds from the auction will go to the treasury of North Rhine-Westphalia, which by population and economy is the largest state in Germany.
Police departments worldwide are becoming more comfortable with auctioning off seized bitcoin, especially as they seem to accumulate more of it. Romanian law enforcement similarly announced the country's first such auction earlier this month.
This summer, the U.S. Marshals tapped Anchorage to custody crypto between seizure and auction.
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