Seized bitcoin is up for sale in Germany.
Stock / Getty Images Plus
  • An online auction of seized bitcoin that was initially priced at a discount spurred a frenzy in Germany, according to reports.
  • The minimum bid was set at 42,400 (R724,800), below bitcoin's recent price above $63,000.
  • Prosecutors in Germany are required to put seized items such as bitcoin up for auction.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

German prosecutors reportedly held an auction to sell bitcoin seized by law enforcement, attracting people seeking to buy the cryptocurrency at a discount.

The minimum required bid was €42,400 (R724,800) in the auction that began Monday and was announced by the Justice Ministry of North Rhine-Westphalia, according to Bloomberg.

Bitcoin during Monday's session traded above $63,000, rising by nearly 5%. The first bidder in the German auction offered €56,060 (R958,160).

Tens of millions of euros worth of bitcoin went up for public sale on Monday after the crypto was seized in connection with crimes, including cybercrime taking place over encrypted Darknet, according to a translated report by Süddeutsche Zeitung, a daily newspaper published in Munich.

An announcement on Twitter of the auction sparked a frenzy as 4,000 new users signed up on the auction platform, Bloomberg reported. Proceeds will go to North Rhine-Westphalia's treasury, said the Süddeutsche Zeitung report.

Prosecutors must hold an auction for cryptocurrency as they do for other big-ticket items law enforcement takes into its possession, such as luxury cars and helicopters. Authorities in Germany's largest state over the years have seized bitcoins worth tens of millions of euros.

Bitcoin's price last week reached an all-time high of $66,930.39, according to CoinMarketCap, a day after the first bitcoin-futures ETF launched.

Get the best of our site emailed to you every weekday.

Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.