A crackdown on organized crime by Bulgarian law enforcement in May resulted in the seizure of more than 200,000 bitcoins – an amount worth more than $3 billion at today’s prices.
ConiDesk reported that back in May, government officials seized about 200,000 Bitcoin, then worth about $500 million. Investigators busted a ring of people who were conspiring with customs officials throughout Southeast Europe to fake customs documents in order to avoid taxes.
The criminals were using Bitcoin as part of the scheme. At the time, one Bitcoin was worth a mere $2,354. Today? The value has been moving between 13,000 and $16,000 per Bitcoin. Which means good news for the government of Bulgaria. According to a report from Bivol.bg from Nov. 28, the Bulgarian government declined to release further details, citing an ongoing criminal investigation.
Still, if Bulgaria can unload those Bitcoins, it could be good timing for the country, which is facing an annual budget deficit of about $600,000 for 2018. So $3 billion could help balance the checkbook for the next several years.
However, the Bulgarian government also likely faces the same dilemma as every holder of Bitcoin: Is this a bubble? If yes, the government should dump all those Bitcoin ASAP. If no, and the currency goes to $30,000 per Bitcoin, government leaders will be banging their heads against a wall for decades if they sell now.
An interesting article worth checking out is the latest report on how Bitcoin electricity consumption is now larger than regular consumption in the Balkans. While over on Reddit, there’s an interesting discussion about the 213,519 Bulgarian Bitcoins, by Bastiat, who says:
At $15K per bitcoin, Bulgaria has $3.2B in bitcoin right now.
There are 7.1 million people in Bulgaria. That’s $451 per resident
At $1m per bitcoin, Bulgaria will have $213B in bitcoin
That’s $30,073 per resident
Wouldn’t it be interesting if Bulgaria helped inspire more nations to hold bitcoin in their reserves. That could get really interesting.