France to Auction 611 Bitcoins Seized From Hackers
The French government will auction 611 bitcoins that were seized from hackers next week. There will be two sales comprised of 478 lots altogether. Each lot consists of between 0.11 and 20 bitcoins.
- Paris-based auction house Kapandji Morhange will auction 611 bitcoins on March 17. The company says this is the first auction of seized bitcoin by the French government. At the current price, this amount of bitcoin is worth almost $34 million.
- According to the auctioneer’s website, two sales will be conducted: one at 9 A.M. and the other at 2 P.M. The first sale consists of 437 lots of between 0.11 and two bitcoins. The second sale consists of 41 lots of between five and 20 bitcoins.
- The bitcoins were seized from hackers in 2019 and 2020 by France’s Agency for the Recovery and Management of Seized and Confiscated Assets (AGRASC).
- Most of the bitcoins to be auctioned were seized by the courts in connection to an attack on the cryptocurrency platform Gatehub, local news outlet Cyberguerre described. The London-based crypto exchange was hacked in 2019 and bitcoins were subsequently seized from hackers. The court case is still ongoing and the accused have not been sentenced. If they are not found guilty, they will collect the proceeds from the sale.
- Once the auction has ended, the proceeds from the sale will be consigned and transferred to an account of the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations until the court case has concluded.
- The price of bitcoin is $55,271 at the time of writing. It has surged about 20% this month, 55% since the beginning of February, and 72% since the beginning of the year, based on data from markets.Bitcoin.com.