The coins languished in cold storage for four years after being confiscated by authorities during an arrest.
South Korean prosecutors have finally sold a Bitcoin (BTC) haul they confiscated from a criminal in 2017 and it is worth $10.5 million greater than it had been at the time of the arrest. The cash has allegedly been deposited in the coffers of the nation's national treasury.
According to reports coming from the Suwon District Prosecutors Office, this is the very first time confiscated Bitcoin was sold by police, and the first time the coins in question have transferred since being put into cold storage in 2017.
Originally worth $238,000 in the time of the confiscation, the coins were recently sold for a sum of $10.8 million, marking a 4,400percent increase in value within four years. Based on that percentage growth, we could assume that Bitcoin was priced at about $1,300 when the arrest was created, near April 2017.
With no specific cryptocurrency laws or regulations in place at the time, authorities left the coins in cold storage. In late March, the South Korean authorities enacted widespread crypto-specific laws for the very first time, placing more pressure on exchanges and virtual asset service suppliers to utilize real-name trading accounts and to report their activities to Korea's Financial Intelligence Unit. Prosecutors reportedly sold the coins as soon as the laws were put into place on March 25.
South Korea's determination to govern the cryptocurrency distance stems from revelations regarding crypto's use by tax evaders, and the evergreen concerns surrounding money-laundering. In January 2022, new legislation will come into force which levy a 20% capital gains tax on gains made from cryptocurrency trading.
The National Tax Service of South Korea claimed the number of cryptocurrency investors climbed 25% in the last year, leading to an 800% increase to overall trade volume.