If you follow the crypto industry or the general trading sector, then you’re probably aware that bitcoin has been on a bull run since late 2020, reaching a new all-time price high of over $60,000. This massive price increase has seen many new entrants into the crypto markets, both institutional and individual. Platforms have even seen token shortages due to the increased demand for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
Now, it seems that even the South Korean government is getting in on the action as it was reported that bitcoin from 2017 was recently sold by the South Korean government for a hefty profit.
Old Tokens, New Profits
The Bitcoin in question was seized in 2017 from a criminal and it is not unusual for governments to sell off confiscated assets. These tokens were recently sold and the profit came to about $10.8 million.
A report was published by the Suwon District Prosecutors Office which states that the profits realized from the sale of the token have been deposited at the National treasury of South Korea. The previous holder of the tokens was a criminal who ran a pornographic website and has been in prison for the last 4 years while his ill-gotten gains have appreciated in value.
The decision to sell off these tokens is part of new regulation that took effect on March 25, 2021. According to the new regulation, crypto exchanges and service providers in Korea need to report the activities to the Financial Intelligence Unit. One of the reasons for this harsh crackdown on crypto activity is that the tax authority of South Korea found out recently that over 2,400 tax evaders were using bitcoins to hide their assets totaling roughly $32 million from the government.
Because cryptocurrency-related regulation is still in development around the world, there was no official protocol on how to handle crypto assets that were confiscated from criminals. Now, it is clear that such assets will be sold off and the funds remitted to the government.
In the past, they will have been concerns about the potential use of cryptocurrency for criminal purposes such as terrorism and tax evasion. This led to some lawmakers’ reluctance to fully accept cryptocurrency use and the wider crypto industry. However, this new development shows that regulatory bodies can adapt to the changing crypto landscape and create laws to accommodate it.