German prosecutors have hired a bank to “clean up” cryptocurrencies that have been confiscated in criminal proceedings. “Because the cryptocurrencies are crime-related, they are considered ‘contaminated coins’ and cannot be traded on mainstream exchanges,” the bank said.
Bank hired to clean up cryptocurrency confiscated in criminal cases
The anti-cybercrime unit of the Hessian public prosecutor’s office in Frankfurt has reportedly commissioned the bank Sheikh securities specialist AG to “clean” cryptocurrencies worth around 100 million euros (113 million US dollars), Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. The coins were confiscated in a criminal case involving three drug dealers.
The bank noted that seized cryptos will return to regular circulation after being cleaned, stating:
Since the cryptocurrencies are related to crime, they are considered “contaminated coins” and cannot be traded on mainstream exchanges.
The cleaning process established by Bankhaus Scheich “ensures that trading partners are informed that the currencies are back in legal possession and have been declared ‘clean’ and can be sold,” says the publication. However, the Frankfurter Bank did not provide any further details about the procedure.
The Sheikh banking house found that the seized cryptocurrency was sold in a week earlier this month. The proceeds will now go to the state budget.
Prosecutors and the bank said they will work together in future criminal cases to bring seized cryptocurrencies back to the markets.
Several people on social media found the German government’s move interesting. For example, podcaster Joe Weisenthal tweeted:
It is interesting that governments are essentially at the service of reverse laundering crypto. They take contaminated crypto (which has been confiscated in criminal cases and as such is not traded on exchanges) and then laundered it so that it can be freely traded on the market again.
What do you think of the federal government commissioning a bank to “clean up” confiscated cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comment section below.
Kevin, a student of Austrian economics, found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open source systems, network effects and the interface between economy and cryptography.
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