France to auction 611 bitcoins worth $32 million


The French government is set to auction off 611 bitcoins (roughly $32 million) tomorrow

An auction house in France has been tasked with hosting the sale of 611 bitcoins on behalf of a French government agency. At Bitcoin‘s current rate of $53,000, the bitcoins are worth roughly $32 million. The auction will take place tomorrow and will commence at 9 a.m.

According to a local media outlet report, the event will feature 437 individual lots for sale, ranging from 0.11 BTC to 2 BTC. Several bidders will have the opportunity to buy the bitcoins.

Earlier this month, French publication Cyberguere revealed most of the bitcoins originated from the 2019 hack of exchange service GateHub. The hackers stole XRP coins from the cryptocurrency exchange but later converted them to BTC.

The auction house is hosting the event on behalf of AGRASC (also called the French Agency for the Recovery and Management of Seized & Confiscated Assets). According to the notice, any interested participant should have registered before 13 March.

Several governments have auctioned off seized bitcoins over the years. The process has generated handsome returns for the authorities. Most of the seized bitcoins are from illegal transactions such as drugs, arms and theft.

The United States government also auctioned off 0.7501 BTC (roughly $39,000) yesterday. It remains unclear where the government obtained the BTC or why it was auctioned off via the General Services Administration (GSA), the government’s auction site that caters to office supplies, furniture, and other items like vehicles, scientific equipment, and heavy machinery.

The starting price for the auction was $25,000, and it took place in Atlanta, Georgia, yesterday. The bidding will end tomorrow, and the successful bidder will fill out a “Forfeited Property Sales Certification Form”, indicating that they are not a Department of Justice employee or the individual who forfeited the BTC.

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