Sweden's Government to Sell Seized Bitcoin in Open Auction

The Swedish government is to hold a week-long bitcoin auction, starting today, with 0.6 BTC for up for grabs.

AccessTimeIconOct 12, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:56 p.m. UTC

A government agency in Sweden dedicated to debt collection is auctioning off some bitcoin this week.

In a statement, the Kronofogden (known also as the Enforcement Authority) said today that it would sell roughly 0.6 BTC, an amount worth roughly $3,200 at press time. Though the statement didn't explicitly state the source of the funds, local media reports indicate that the debt was assessed against a local company.

The agency said that it would begin the auction today, which is scheduled to last through next Thursday, and called for interested parties to reach out about participating.

Johannes Paulson, the agency's operations developer, said in a statement:

"Assets are not just the car on the driveway or the money [in a] bank account. We live in a digital world, and now we are looking for assets in computers and hard drives as well as in telephones and web services."

With the move, Sweden becomes the latest government to auction off holdings of the cryptocurrency.

The U.S. government, for example, held several auctions of bitcoin it obtained through its investigation of the now-defunct dark market Silk Road. As previously reported, the government has only just taken possession of the proceeds from those auctions following a long legal fight with convicted Silk Road operator Ross Ulbricht.

Editor's Note: Some of the statements in this article have been translated from Swedish.

Auction hammer image via Shutterstock

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