back to article Thanks-thanks to TalkTalk teen hacker: UK cops' first auction of ill-gotten Bitcoin nets £240k

British cops have raised £240,000 in their first ever UK-based auction of cryptocurrencies understood to have been seized from former TalkTalk hacker Elliot Gunton , who'd "earned" it selling hacking services and flogging people's stolen personal details online. The sell-off of Bitcoin, Ripple and Ether to the highest bidder …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Auction ? Why not just convert to £ ?

    That's it really ?

    1. Captain Scarlet

      Re: Auction ? Why not just convert to £ ?

      I imagine there is probably a rule which states they have to auction items off.

      You can guarantee someone in the police service were slapping their head when they found out what they went for.

    2. Jon 37

      Re: Auction ? Why not just convert to £ ?

      1) Converting a large amount of currency at once on the open market could depress the price massively, if there are temporarily more sellers than buyers. Better to sell it privately and then allow the buyer to sell it on the open market at a slow steady rate. The buyer can take the risk of any price changes.

      (Disclaimer: I'm not sure what volumes of Bitcoin are being traded each day, so I'm not sure if this counts as a "large amount").

      2) The rules for disposing of seized property probably say it has to be an open auction. And that's mostly a good thing, it prevents defrauding the taxpayer by selling it cheap to a mate, and it protects the police against allegations that they've sold it cheap to a mate.

      1. HobbitCZ

        Re: Auction ? Why not just convert to £ ?

        1) 250k is nothing, daily traded volume is in hundreds millions of USD, so no worries there.

        2) Selling on public exchange is a form of auction, there is a line of bids which you can fulfill. They would get circa 20% more this way as this was the auctioneer fee (crazy high btw).

        At least I would find someone who will do it for 5% max, as there is a little they have to do to store or deliver the crypto assets.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Site says bitcoin was sold for average price of 6,798.80 GBP , which equates to approx 8400 USD.

    As I write this current bitcoin price is 8,140.50 so someone is sitting on a nice loss.... OR you can wait a week and you can be sitting on a bigger loss OR your bitcoin price could have also doubled OR...

    1. Snowy Silver badge

      May have sold sold for average price of 6,798.80 GBP but the Police are not going to see that much as they have fees to pay ( can not see from Wilsons Auctions how much their fee is) so they could well end up than less than the current price.

      Also the buyer will have fees to play so the "loss" is likely to be more at which point buying the coins at auction make little sense to me.

      1. HobbitCZ

        Fees were buyers premium. So police paid nothing on top. In the time od sale price of BTC was 8400, so including premium it sold for or above market price. BitcoinSV sold dramatically over market price (someone clearly didn't know the difference between Bitcoin (8400$) and BitcoinSV (7$).

    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Bitcoin is, however, quite volatile

      Around a month ago, it was sat at nearly £10k. I'd be very surpised if it didn't go above that at some point in the next 12 months, so to someone with the money to gamble on it, it doesn't sound quite so daft.

      1. Snowy Silver badge

        Re: Bitcoin is, however, quite volatile

        Aye bitcoins and the other Cryptocoin are all a gamble a bit like shares except the only thing they are backed up with is dreams and hope :)

  3. Pen-y-gors

    Seized assets?

    With the cops scrambling for budget after years of cuts, cryptocurrency auctions like this might be just the fillip the police need.

    I don't think so. Seized assets shouldn't go to the police budget, otherwise they will be tempted to go for the most lucrative cases not the most important.

    But having said that, seizing billions from a bunch of corrupt Tories, Brexiters and hedge-fund managers would be a nice cherry on the cake - and could even pay for the non-existent 'extra 20,000 police officers'.

  4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    How much of it will the victims see?

    1. John McCallum

      How much?


  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "Bitcoin confiscated by a court, worth £1.25m"

    Worth that at time of seizure. Some time next month it will be worth £25000.

  6. MAF

    Who needs that much Bitcoin

    It would be ironic if the buyer was a State that was paying off Ransomware criminals...

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