The Sydney Morning Herald reported Monday that the state of Victoria in Australia will sell millions of dollars worth of Bitcoins on the open market in the coming months after seizing assets from a drug dealer named Richard Pollard, who was sentenced last fall to 11 years in jail after pleading guilty to commercial trafficking that involved the online black market Silk Road.
The Bitcoins were confiscated in late 2013, but the state’s Asset Confiscation Operations (ACO) had to wait until Pollard’s case had been heard in the court system. The Herald reported that a spokesman confirmed the ACO has recently taken possession of 24,500 Bitcoins and would try to make the most of it.
“The Department of Justice and Regulation’s ACO unit is assessing options for selling the bitcoins in the case. With the volatility in price for bitcoins, it is important that the sale of the coins on the open market is done at a time and way to get the best value,” the spokesman said.
The Bitcoin seizure was worth $32 million AUD in late 2013, when one Bitcoin reached a peak value of $1,100, but now the haul is worth about $9.3 million, with one BTC valued at about $377.
The department did not say how it plans to sell the Bitcoins, said the Herald. Asher Tan, chief executive of the Bitcoin trading site CoinJar, recommended using an American or European wholesale market and auctioning small blocks of Bitcoins, as American authorities have done.
Proceeds of the sale will go toward Victoria state’s consolidated revenue.