Australian Government to Auction Nearly US$18 Million Worth of Bitcoin

The Department of Justice and Regulation of the Australian state Victoria, is set to auction nearly US$18.5 million after seizing 24,518 bitcoin from a convicted Melbourne drug dealer.

The Australian reports that professional services firm Ernst and Young is handling the 48-hour auction of the seized digital currency and stated that the local government will benefit from a massive windfall, as the total amount of seized bitcoin was only worth around US$373,155 when it was first discovered

The exchange rates described by the Victoria Department of Justice and Regulation hint that the government actually seized the digital currency from an undisclosed or possibly anonymous user when it was worth US$15.21, which dates all the way back to 2013.

The Australian Business Review, the only Australian media outlet to report on the matter, explained that the sale was initially delayed because of the “length of the sale’s approval process,” and because the Department of Justice had to find a dealer or a third party organization to take over the auction.

To launch an official state-regulated auction of confiscated objects of value, the Victoria Department of Justice had to first file an application for the bitcoins to be seized and establish a plan to dispose them or sell them to the public.

More interestingly, the auction is kept secret from the mainstream media in purpose, to refrain from affecting the Bitcoin price in the short term, or at least the period in between the sales.

Individual buyers who have registered on June 7 already have submitted independent bids on the 11 sets of 2,000 bitcoin and one last set of 2,518 bitcoin and is currently waiting for the state to finalize the sale and distribute the Bitcoin.

The Victoria Department of Justice and Regulation is permitted to spend the revenues generated from the sale in any government operations of theirs, and the organization hasn’t disclosed that information to the public just yet.

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