Germany Seizes Over $2 Billion In Bitcoin From Piracy Proceeds

An investigation into copyright violations by the German state of Saxony led to the uncovering of 50,000 Bitcoin BTC/USD acquired using the proceeds of pirated works.

What Happened: German authorities announced the seizure of almost 50,000 Bitcoins equivalent to around $2.1 billion after an investigation by Saxony prosecutors, Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is termed as the most extensive seizure of Bitcoins by law enforcement in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Bitcoin was acquired by two German and Polish national suspects in mid-January 2024. The profits of a German file-sharing portal with operations until 2013 were used for the purchase. One suspect voluntarily transferred the token to the German federal police wallet.  

The authorities said, “This means that a final decision has not yet been made about the utilization of the Bitcoin.” However, the charges on the two suspects include unauthorized commercial exploitation of copyrighted works and money laundering.

Read Next: Over 99% Of Cryptocurrency On-Chain Is Legal, Bitcoin Use In Criminal Activity Falls Again

Why It Matters: Authorities are struggling with Bitcoin’s permissionless nature. Bitcoin can be seized if it is being used for illicit purposes or was acquired through unlawful sources of income.

An X user recently tracked all Bitcoin seizures, showing that more than $13.7 billion worth of Bitcoin has yet to be liquidated.


Recently, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland looked to sell a significant portion of Bitcoin seized in connection with the Silk Road scam investigation. The Bitcoin is worth around $132.5 million.

Also Read: From Casinos To ‘Slaves’: UN Report Details Tether’s Role In Organized Crime

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