Cologne public prosecutor’s office hijacked confiscated Bitcoin

A Ferrari sports car, Prada sunglasses and a tasteless Lagerfeld handbag made of dark blue saffiano leather: the auction platform of the Cologne public prosecutor’s office gathers all kinds of illustrious offers that have been confiscated. In the middle of the product range, there is also a not a small amount of Bitcoin worth 600,000 euros.

Bitcoin auctioning is a novelty in Germany

For the first time in the history of the German judiciary, Bitcoin is being offered via the “Justice auction” portal. The property is said to have been confiscated from cybercriminals, reports the North Rhine-Westphalia state service to the German press agency.

It is a novelty in Germany that bitcoins end up on the auction table of the judiciary, but it is basically not unusual. According to the North Rhine-Westphalia Enforcement Act, confiscated assets must be put up for auction, a spokesman for the public prosecutor said. As a rule, however, this affects cars, cell phones and jewelry. Since cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have not yet come under the hammer of the German judiciary, the wording of the message reads soberly:

You will have to see if it works.

Assuming you know the private key of the original owner, bitcoins can then be confiscated and sold to the highest bidder. After all, without a private key it is also unlikely that the coins will change the wallet.

In addition, the offer has not yet been activated. Betting seems to be a risk anyway. With daily course fluctuations, you could bring both the gift horse and the pig in a poke home.

An old hat from overseas

The US judiciary has already practiced what sets a precedent in German justice. In the course of the spectacular investigations into the Darknet platform “Silk Road”, the authorities auctioned a total of 144,000 Bitcoin from the platform operator Ross Ulbricht.

The cryptocurrency has also found its way into the auction house in Great Britain. Wilsons Auctions auctioned off £ 500,000 worth of Bitcoin last year, which also came from cybercriminal activity.

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