According to the Saxony police, “a final decision has not yet been made about the utilization of the Bitcoin.”
Authorities in the German state of Saxony reported confiscating roughly 50,000 Bitcoin (BTC) as part of an investigation into copyright violations.
In a Jan. 30 announcement, the Saxony police said it coordinated with tax authorities and prosecutors to secure the Bitcoin, allegedly connected to two German and Polish nationals. According to the police, the individuals purchased the Bitcoin — worth roughly $2.17 billion at the time of publication — with the proceeds of pirated works through websites in 2013.
“The Bitcoin were seized after the accused voluntarily transferred them to official wallets provided by the [police],” said authorities. “This means that a final decision has not yet been made about the utilization of the Bitcoin.”
It’s unclear when individuals allegedly connected to the crime purchased the Bitcoin, but the large amount of the seizure suggested it may have been when the price of the cryptocurrency was low. As of Oct. 31, data from Glassnode suggested that authorities in the United States had seized a total of 210,429 BTC connected to various crimes.
Coinbase reported in November 2023 that German authorities had filed 1,906 requests for information from the crypto exchange between the fourth quarter of 2022 and the third quarter of 2023. Binance, before its $4.3 billion settlement with U.S. authorities, withdrew its cryptocurrency custody license application in Germany, hinting at changes to the “global market and regulation.”