The claim is related the operation of a piracy website in 2013 that violated the Copyright Act. Proceeds of that venture were then converted to bitcoin. One of the two suspects voluntarily transferred the bitcoin to the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), the statement said.
An investigation is ongoing into subsequent commercial money laundering, although no official charges have been lodged against the men.
"A final decision has not yet been made about the utilization of the bitcoins," the police statement added.
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.