The government of Romania is following the footsteps of several other countries that auction cryptocurrencies confiscated from criminals. 

Earlier this week, the National Agency for the Management of Seized Assets (ANABI) announced that it would conduct a public auction of confiscated Bitcoin and Ether tokens, after a ruling from the Prosecutor’s Office in Ploiesti Court

No Use for Seized Assets

Although the authority didn’t reveal the exact number of tokens up for auction, its requirements for a successful bid suggest that they could be quite significant. In its release, it explained.

“Taking into account the nature of the moveable property put up for auction, the successful tenderer will have to inform the Agency, to proceed with the transfer, about the BTC and ETH public addresses associated with a virtual currency trading platform.” 

The release added that the successful crypto bidder would need to use a registered and regulatory-compliant exchange. The exchange should have Anti-Money Laundering (AML) systems in place and be compliant with Know-Your-Customer (KYC) regulations.

The U.S. Marshals’ Extensive Auctioning Record

Auctions aren’t a novelty when it comes to the crypto space. With governments unable to spend the digital assets they seize, they’ve primarily resorted to pumping them back into circulation and taking the fiat currency from those trades. 

In the United States, there have been several such actions in the past. Back in 2018, the United States Marshals Service (USMS)conducted three Bitcoin auctions, selling 3,800, 2,100, and 660 BTC tokens in January, March, and October of the year, respectively. In the third auction, the agency revealed in a press release that it had seized the tokens via criminal, civil, and administrative cases. 

While the agency conducted even more auctions in 2019, its most significant on record happened this year. In February, the USMS announced the auction of about 4,040 BTC tokens, worth about $38.4 million at the time. The agency asked bidders to pay an initial $200,000 to be part of the auction, adding that it would refund the non-winning bidders’ payments.    

With so many raids and auctions conducted, the Marshals Service is now looking to develop a system that will ensure efficient asset redistribution. 

In June, industry news source The Block reported that the agency had uploaded a contract for a crypto disposal and management service. As the news medium confirmed, the proposal revealed the USMS’s desire to partner with a custody firm to store all of its seized assets. The agency published five documents, including an Evaluation Factors for Award document that showed its required process for storing and disposing of seized cryptocurrencies. 

“The contract will be awarded to the responsible company whose proposal conforming to the solicitation will be most advantageous to the government, based on the evaluation of Technical Capability, Past Performance, and Price,” the document read in part.

The documents also included a Performance of Work (PoW), where the USMS described its contractor’s expected standards and performance objectives. A successful firm will need to ensure accounting, customer management, wallet creation, audit compliance, and wallet maintenance. The firm will also be in charge of any future transactions involving seized assets on the USMS’ behalf.

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