A BRITISH POLICE FORCE has made history by being the first to sell off a criminal's cryptocurrency.
In all, the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit sold £240,000 worth of cryptocurrency in small lots containing a mix of Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple (the coin, not the chocolate bar). Bidders had to be approved users, to prevent the police from inadvertently funding criminal activity.
"Asset recovery in a digital world has evolved, so it's really important that, working alongside commercial partners, we have a clear process for the storage and sale of cryptocurrency," Detective Chief Inspector Martin Peters of the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit told the BBC.
"This goes to show there is no place to hide criminal assets - we are constantly developing our techniques and capabilities to ensure that proceeds of crime are either given back to the rightful owner or, as in this case, are reinvested in crime."
The cryptocurrency apparently came from the account of Eliott Gunton, who was last week sentenced to 20 months for selling stolen data for Bitcoin. Due to time spent on remand, that sentence is already up, but he is required to pay back £407,359 with restrictions preventing him from using any private internet-capable device.
That might seem like a tough punishment to adhere to, but it's not Gunton's first run-in with the law. Back in 2016, he was given a 12-month youth rehabilitation order for his part in hacking TalkTalk which the Guardian says was supposed to "draw him from the lonely confines of a bedroom and that lonely world of computing to a family where his knowledge and skills could be put to good use and to project that out to the wider world."
It seems that the softly-softly approach didn't work as planned, and desperate times called for more desperate measures. µ
You could soon buy that ivory backscratcher on Marketplace in a few taps
Just in case you're too posh for Whole Foods
Borked butterfly mechanism is dead
AI nirvana in the cloud