Bulgarian State Officials Refutes Allegation that the country Holds more than $3.2 Billion in Bitcoin
Dec 11, 2017 Posted / 828 Views
Around 19th. May of this year Bulgarian authorities were reported to have executed a successful series of crackdown on Bitcoin establishments in the country. The exercise which was jointly carried out by the Bulgarian security and the Southeast European Law Enforcement (SELEC) saw about 213,519 Bitcoins worth about $500 million at the time being seized. The main target of the operation was to destabilize the financial capability of a criminal faction comprising of some Bulgarians citizens who pledge allegiance to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Hellenic Republic, Romania and the Republic of Serbia. The group recruited from custom offices in all the countries involved and affected the computers at the customs offices with a malware which would allow them transport merchandise without being checked at the customs checkpoints without paying required customs duties.
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At the time of the seizer, Bitcoin was being valued at $2,354 but this figure has skyrocketed by about 700% to about $16,000 making the previous $500 million total rise to about $3.2 Billion a figure which is estimated to be 6% of the country’s GDP. The government, however, is not acceptable to give out any clear information regarding the said 213,519 Bitcoin alleged to be in its possession. At the same time, an additional $300 million worth of Bitcoin cash is said to be among the seized coins.
Meanwhile, the head of the special prosecutor’s office is playing hide and seek with the media, saying in a recent interview that no Bitcoin had been seized by the Internal Affairs ministry. Bulgaria captured a significant media attention as regard different allegation that the government was running a systematic crackdown on cryptocurrency in the country. The allegations that some banks in Bulgaria had closed bank accounts linked to some cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. The prosecution officials, however, said that such decision was made by the Banks alone without any input from the government of Bulgaria. A statement released by the Bank revealed that,
“many Partner Banking Institutions like JP Morgan Chase, Commerzbank and a variety of other Banking Institutions with whom the bank is working with had taken steps to reject transactions relating directly to cryptocurrencies. In that regard we cannot accept to offer our services to cryptocurrency Traders”
Some Banking institutions in Bulgaria has taken a swift step by closing accounts related to Cryptocurrency exchanges. The United Bulgarian Bank (UBB) and the First Investment Bank (FiBank) recently closed all accounts they had suspected to be related to players in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The prosecutor’s office repeatedly claimed that it had no hand in the decisions made by the banks. Other Cryptocurrency trading platforms like cix.bg reported being normally operating in the country. Some other platforms like Crypto.bg, crypto bank and Bitcoinborsa have ceased operations because their banks too dissolved their accounts.
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