In brief

  • Monmouth County, New Jersey has liquidated Bitcoin seized during a 2018 drugs bust.
  • The county has made a profit of 250% on the sale of the seized Bitcoin.

A county in New Jersey has liquidated Bitcoin seized over two years ago in a drugs bust, netting 250% profits.

In 2018, Monmouth County seized the Bitcoin after having determined that it had been obtained through illegal drugs sales, according to data provided to NBC. At the time, the value of the seized Bitcoin was around $57,000.

In 2019, the county filed a forfeiture complaint after the suspect pleaded guilty and was sentenced on multiple drugs charges—putting the Bitcoin in the hands of the county.

Since then, the price of Bitcoin has shot up, reaching highs above $60,000 in recent weeks. As a result, the county was able to sell its seized Bitcoin for just shy of $200,000—a profit of 250%.

Monmouth County also holds some other seized cryptocurrency that was taken in 2017 following a bust of 16 people over financial fraud. Those coins were worth $200,000 at the time and are now worth a breezy $1.2 million.

Other seizures of Bitcoin

This isn’t the first time that Bitcoin has been seized and sold in the US. It’s been happening since 2014, when the US Marshals Service (USMS) auctioned off Bitcoin seized from the now-defunct darknet marketplace Silk Road.

One participant in that sale was venture capitalist Tim Draper, who bought 30,000 Bitcoin in the auction. He spent $19 million buying the Bitcoin; his haul is now worth more than $1.6 billion.

More recently, in March, the US General Services Administration auctioned off 7.54 Bitcoin across two auctions, raising a total of $450,000.

Further afield, last month the French authorities auctioned off a haul of seized Bitcoin worth $34.5 million—with one buyer inexplicably paying for their lot at a rate of $290,000 per Bitcoin.