Bitcoins seized by Bulgarian govt long back are now worth billions

Published On: 08, Dec 2017 | Source:

Moneycontrol News @moneycontrolcom

Moneycontrol News

The Bulgarian government is currently sitting on Bitcoins worth USD 3.49 billion which it had seized while cracking down on organised crime gangs in May this year, according to a report by CoinDesk.

On May 19, Bulgaria, which is part of the regional organization Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC), had seized a total of 213,519 bitcoins. According to the current Bitcoin rate, the seized cryptocurrency is worth USD 3.49 billion, in today's price.

Bulgarian authorities had said the offenders chose to use bitcoins for investing or saving money, as they believed it was difficult to be tracked and followed.

The authorities also said the gang developed a virus which was used to hack into Bulgarian Customs computers, which allowed them avoid paying fees for goods they were transporting into the country.

A statement by the authorities said the virus was uploaded to the government systems by bribed agents.

According to the report, it is currently unclear what the Bulgarian government is doing with the seized bitcoins.

The value of the seized bitcoins was roughly USD 500 million in May.

(The price of a single Bitcoin was worth USD 16,365, according to Coinbase when this story was published)