Today’s minister said that governments may view bitcoin with some suspicion, but that does not mean that they do not want to make money from its high value, and that France is set to reap nearly $ 30 million from its first-ever cryptocurrency auction.
Over 600 confiscated coins were sold as part of an investigation and valued at over $ 30 million USD based on current market prices.
The online sale by Kapandji Morhange has attracted nearly 1,600 applicants.
“It is a deal that will collect 30 million dollars in government revenues,” Public Finance Minister Olivier Deussubet told BFM Business TV at the end of the auction.
When preparations started in September, Bitcoin was trading at around $ 10,000, away from the $ 60,000 hit over the weekend, putting the 611 coins selling in an entirely different league.
When bidding started at 9 AM, the starting price was 23,250 € per coin, but most coins were sold for around 40,000 € per lot, somewhat in line with the current market rate minus the exchange and commission rates.
Although Bitcoin has often been accused of being a speculative asset and a vehicle for criminals to transfer money and launder money, the value of the cryptocurrency has soared in recent months as more mainstream companies such as Tesla and the BlackRock hedge fund stood behind.
No information has been disclosed about the source of the bitcoins as the legal process is underway.
If the defendant wins, he will receive the money from the auction minus the commissions paid to the auction house.
Otherwise, the French state will deposit any money that the court did not give to victims or charities.
According to the auction house, France is not the first country to auction off cryptocurrencies, as the United States did so in 2014, followed by Canada, Australia, Belgium and Britain.