Romania Is Having Its First Bitcoin Auction
Romania’s National Agency for the Management of Seized Assets will be responsible for finding a buyer for the small amounts of bitcoin and ether it will be looking to sell off. The money was taken following a fraudulent money scheme. Roughly 0.97 of ether is available for purchase, while more than 1,670 Romanian lei – the country’s national fiat currency – and about 0.6 units of bitcoin are also available. At the time of writing, the bitcoin in question is worth just over $7,000.
As it stands, the auction will not be open to individual citizens. Rather, participants must be a registered legal entity that employs know your customer (KYC) tactics to ensure all customer identities are accounted for. In addition, they must meet all standard laws set forth by Romanian financial regulators designed to fight money laundering and other illicit schemes. Lastly, the entity that wins the money by placing the highest bid must provide all data regarding addresses on its exchange.
This sets up a real issue when it comes to privacy and could potentially deter many financial firms from taking part in the event. For one thing, the amounts of bitcoin and ether in question are rather small. A large, legitimate cryptocurrency trading platform is likely to scoff at the small numbers, knowing that they probably deal with eight times that much money on a regular basis. It’s odd to think that Romania would even engage in such an auction considering there isn’t more money to be had.
Second, the idea that a participating – and later winning – exchange must provide all data regarding their customers’ financial activities is a little scary. The notion of privacy has always been big when it comes to cryptocurrency users and traders. Most exchanges know this, and likely will be reluctant to participate on the belief that its customers will potentially turn away and take their business elsewhere granted their respective platform comes out the winner.
This Happens A Lot
When it comes to stolen or fraudulent cryptocurrency, an auction always appears to be the big solution that governments search for. We cannot forget the “original” bitcoin auction, in which all the money confiscated from Ross Ulbricht – the alleged mastermind behind the Silk Road bitcoin-based dark web platform – back in 2013 was later sold to figures like Tim Draper.
However, more recent auctions have come into play, with the latest one held by the United States taking place just eight months ago in February. The bitcoin stash available to buyers was worth as much as $37 million, and the money had been confiscated from various federal criminal proceedings.