In 2016, police raids in Finland were common. So, several years ago, during a major transaction of drug dealers, Finnish customs confiscated 1,666 bitcoins.
Since then, the value of a digital asset has grown by almost 2000%, so now the authorities are wondering what they can do with coins.
Customs Finance Director Pekka Pylkkanen fears that in case of sale, bitcoins can be reused for illegal activities:
“From our point of view, the problems are associated with the risk of money laundering. Buyers rarely use them for normal activities.”
However, participants in the crypto community consider this point of view very outdated. Yuri Mattila, a researcher at the Finnish Institute for Economic Research, said criminal use of BTC has declined significantly in recent years.
The founder of a cryptocurrency-related company, Henry Braid, noted that most Bitcoin buyers are legal investors. He believes that they have many legal ways to sell assets, and liquidity is not a problem today:
“Of course, if customs sells their bitcoins anonymously, the risk will be huge. But if they sell using legal means, I see no problem. The bitcoin market is very large, and a similar amount will not be a problem for the liquidity of buyers.”
In addition, Finnish customs stores other seized cryptocurrencies.