Bulgaria did not Hold Bitcoin Worth $1.6 Billion, Finance Minister Claimed
The curious case of Bulgaria's alleged hoard of 200,000 bitcoins resurfaced again this week as sources claimed the Balkan country was HODLing (Hodl is slang in the cryptocurrency community for holding the cryptocurrency rather than selling it.) cryptocurrency.
Seemingly referencing a press release from May 2017, TrustNodes led the renewed media interest in a story about how Bulgarian authorities confiscated the BTC after taking down an unknown criminal operation.
According to the press release, which came from the Southeast European Law Enforcement Center, the operation focused on an "organized criminal group" including citizens from several nations.
The government seized various assets, including the bitcoin, with the various media publications now claiming Sofia held on to them and could now be the most Bitcoin-wealthy government in the world.
According to Bulgarian media outlets, however, no such BTC reserves exist.
Specifically, local news publication Bivol wrote in April 2018, the government auctioned off its haul in a low-key affair which involved various international buyers.
The sale occurred a matter of months after the crackdown, as Bitcoin price $7994.76 +0.00% reached its all-time high of around $20,000 in December 2017.
The publication claims that Bulgaria's finance minister, Vladislav Goranov, told the Prime Minister's Security Council the sale had taken place, and that the coins were sold piecemeal so as not to crash the market.
"Several sovereign wealth funds and Asian investors" purchased the coins for around €15,000 each, with Deloitte acting as a consultant, Bivol references Goranov as revealing.
Even more curiously, "experts from the US FBI helped to ensure the...