Prosecutors in Bavaria, a federal state in Germany, have sold seized cryptocurrencies for a little more than 12 million euros, as reported by local newspaper Tagesspiegel. The criminals holding these assets were responsible for creating a platform to sell 200,000 e-books and audio books for a small amount of money.
The website was closed last year in June, however, the sale of cryptocurrencies took place this year. A total of 1312 Bitcoins, 1399 Bitcoin Cash, 1312 Bitcoin Gold, and 220 Ether were sold in the two months from February to April 2018. The German-based trading platform remains unnamed, but it was noted that it took 1,600 individual transactions to complete the process.
This was the highest crypto sale recorded in the history of Germany – prosecutors called for urgent trading of the seized cryptocurrencies. “Since all crypto currencies are exposed to the risk of high price fluctuations or even total loss, an emergency sale was ordered by the central office,” said one of the prosecutors. They also added that even though BTC’s price dropped sharply in those months, the “price development” wouldn’t have stopped the emergency sale.
Earlier in February, Germany’s Ministry of Finance ruled that the country won’t tax Bitcoins when they are used as a means of payment.
Virtual currencies (cryptocurrencies, e.g., Bitcoin) become the equivalent to legal means of payment, insofar as these so-called virtual currencies of those involved in the transaction as an alternative contractual and immediate means of payment have been accepted.
In April, a German bank VPE WertpapierhandelsBank AG (VPE) became the first securities trading financial institution to trade cryptocurrencies. While the service is only available for “professional and institutional” clients, individuals can also apply to achieve the status of a professional. PR manager Katharina Strenski said, “To date, trading digital tokens has been restricted to crypto exchanges and online marketplaces. We are pleased to be the first German bank to offer our customers cryptocurrency trading services.”
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