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Government of Bulgaria Might Have Up to 200k Bitcoin in Possession


thecryptobasic.com 04 November 2022 17:15, UTC
Reading time: ~3 m

The government of Bulgaria might have in its possession up to 200,000 Bitcoin (BTC) currently worth over $4.2B.

Bulgarian authorities might be sitting on a whopping 200,000 BTC tokens from a criminal syndicate busted as far back as 2017, CryptoQuant chief executive Ki Young Ju recently revealed. Ki’s disclosure comes amid a thread of tweets from the co-founder of CryptoQuant as he seeks to compile a list of governments that might have BTC in their possession.

“PLOT TWIST: Government of Bulgaria🇧🇬 *might* have 200k+ Bitcoins. Bulgarian authorities disclosed that they found 200k BTC from criminals but didn’t specify that they successfully seized these Bitcoin,” Ki highlighted in a tweet Thursday.

Authorities from Bulgaria raided over 100 locations alleged to have been in connection with a local custom-related computerized crime that had plagued the Customs authorities for some time. The authorities arrested 23 suspects and confiscated a huge amount of money discovered in the bust, the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center (SELEC) revealed in a 2017 report.

Meanwhile, following a thorough investigation, the Bulgarian authorities discovered that the culprits had invested proceeds from criminal activity in Bitcoin. This was when the asset was changing hands at the $2.3k level. Consequently, the 200K BTC was worth nearly $500M.

Despite disclosing that the criminals invested the profits in Bitcoin, the Bulgarian authorities neglected to reveal whether they confiscated the assets, nor did they reveal any action taken. Notwithstanding, most individuals believe the assets were seized by the government, as is the only logical stance.

If this assertion is true, the Bulgarian government would have 200K BTC, way above MicroStrategy’s total holding of 130K BTC. If the authorities successfully confiscated the assets, it is unclear if they were auctioned off or retained somewhere. Conflicting reports have emerged over the years, with the authorities remaining taciturn.

Ki revealed that confiscated crypto assets are usually converted to fiat and sent to a country’s treasury if cryptocurrencies are legal in the country – a pattern observed in the U.S. Meanwhile, while not treated as financial instruments, cryptocurrencies have a sort of grey status in Bulgaria, with the authorities placing taxes on income generated from trading them.

Despite not being regarded as an emerging crypto hub, the economic atmosphere in Bulgaria has not particularly dwarfed the growth of the cryptocurrency industry in the Balkan nation. Early this year, the Bulgarian Ministry of Finance disclosed plans to launch crypto payments.

Despite the growing rate of crypto-related crimes, Bulgarian authorities have not been as antagonistic to bitcoin as a few other nations, such as China. Like Bulgaria, China also encountered BTC reserves from a crime bust sometime in 2019, as recently reported.

The Chinese authorities confiscated 194K BTC and 833K ETH from the now-defunct PlusToken Ponzi Scheme, which hoodwinked investors mainly from China and South Korea. The authorities transferred the assets to the country’s national treasury.

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