German Government Moves Millions in Bitcoin to Exchanges

The German government has transferred millions in seized Bitcoin to major Bitcoin and crypto exchanges Kraken and Coinbase, according to blockchain analysis firm Arkham.

The transfers originated from a wallet connected to the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA). In 2013, the BKA seized almost 50,000 Bitcoin, from a film piracy website.

On Tuesday, the BKA wallet moved $24 million in Bitcoin across two transactions to Kraken and Coinbase. An additional $30 million in Bitcoin was sent to an unknown wallet not affiliated with an exchange.

Arkham data shows that these transfers follow previous movements of $195 million in Bitcoin to exchanges on June 19 and 20. Over $425 million has been shifted in the past week.

While the German government still holds the majority of the seized Bitcoin, the transfers to exchanges may signal an intent to liquidate some of the assets.

Selling government-held Bitcoin introduces potential downward price pressure. However, the amounts moved so far represent a relatively small portion of daily Bitcoin trading volume. 

Nonetheless, Bitcoin dipped below $60,000 on Tuesday amid this news. The German government’s Bitcoin wallet still holds over 46,000 Bitcoin worth nearly $3 billion. 

For German police, the Bitcoin seized from illegal activities has dramatically increased in value. Selling even a fraction provides an unexpected windfall. However, concerns about potential impacts on the broader Bitcoin market remain.