An auction house will this week be putting $625,000 worth of cryptocurrency seized by police under the hammer.
The proceeds of a recently jailed hacker, the massive haul of Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, and other altcoins will be auctioned off by Belfast-based Wilsons Auctions on behalf of the UK’s Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU).
The ERSOU seized the digital loot from a criminal who illegally supplied online personal data and hacking services in exchange for thousands of pounds worth of cryptocurrency.
It is believed to be the first instruction by a UK police force for the sale of a criminal’s seized Bitcoin. It will be sold from tomorrow – with no reserve – to the highest bidder.
The assets will be split across two auctions to a global audience with lots largely ranging from 0.25 to two Bitcoins. Other cryptocurrencies – known as ‘altcoins’ – will be auctioned off in larger lots.
The auction will run for 24 hours from 12 noon GMT on Wednesday September 25 until 12 noon GMT on Thursday September 26.
A further 15 lots of Bitcoin will be included in the Unreserved Government Auction, which will take place at 6pm GMT on Thursday September 26. The sale will also include a number of high-value items from luxury watches and jewellery to designer goods and cars – all seized by the police from online hackers.
Wilsons Auctions staged a similar sale in March 2019 with a Belgian public auction of Bitcoin. The sale saw 315 Bitcoins (currently worth around £2.5m) seized by the Belgian government up for grabs.
Speaking ahead of the auction, Wilsons Auctions’ Asset Recovery Director Aidan Larkin said: “We are delighted to be marking another first at Wilsons Auctions by carrying out the first auction of Bitcoin under the instruction of a UK police force.
“Following the success of our world-first public auction of Bitcoin, which achieved global attention, we are excited to continue to roll out this secure service to both our public and private sector clients.
“Being able to offer this secure solution to clients and remove the risks that can be associated with trading with unregulated virtual currency exchanges has been a welcome addition to our award-winning auction service as well as giving new and experienced investors the opportunity to buy cryptocurrencies from an established auction house.”
Wilsons Auctions is a leading auction company with more than 80 years of experience managing the disposal of an extensive variety of assets.
The Asset Recovery Department works with 17 countries worldwide realising assets from cryptocurrencies to supercars, luxury watches, and designer goods.
In recent years, the firm has realised over £100 million worth of seized assets for government agencies, law enforcement agencies, and insolvency practitioners.