Contrary to expectations, the Swedish government has to pay out USD 1.5 million in Bitcoin (BTC) to a convicted drug dealer.
The background to this is that the man was convicted two years ago for having ingested 36 Bitcoin by selling drugs on the Internet. Prosecutor Tove Kullberg argued in the trial at the time that the rate of 1.3 million Swedish kronor (approx. 100,000 US dollars) in effect at the time should be used as the basis for the judgment.
During the man’s imprisonment, the illegal assets increased so much that of the 36 BTC, only 3 BTC had to be auctioned by the Swedish law enforcement authorities to cover the fines and court costs of the convicted person.
This leaves the drug dealer with 33 BTC at a current value of around 1.5 million US dollars, which the Swedish state now has to return. In the face of these circumstances, Kullberg admits in retrospect that her argument at the time “was in many ways unfortunate because it had consequences that could not have been foreseen”. To this end, she explains:
“What we learn from this process is that in future we should use the actual value in Bitcoin as a basis. The profit from his crimes was 36 Bitcoin, regardless of the exchange rate at the time. “
In addition, the prosecutor demands that the judicial authorities should invest in the training of their officials in matters of crypto currencies, because: “The higher the level of knowledge about it, the fewer mistakes are made.”
But the largely unregulated asset class is still a major challenge not only for Sweden. For this reason, Great Britain recently founded a SoKo that is supposed to standardize the legal handling of smart contracts. In Russia, there was again a curious case last year in which a court decided not to repay a stolen person’s crypto assets because they are not legally recognized as a means of payment.