Finland has taken a huge hit on the near-2,000 bitcoin (BTC) stash that’s been collecting dust in its virtual vaults for more than four years, finally selling the coins that were worth $130 million just a few months ago for a mere $48 million.
In an email shared with Bloomberg on Thursday, Finnish authorities announced the sale of 1,889 BTC this summer. Unfortunately, in the time it’s taken to move the coins on, bitcoin’s price has dropped -63% from its November 2021 high of $68,990.
The delay was down to Finnish authorities’ initial concerns and indecision around selling the crypto. They cited the possibility of it being used in money laundering and other criminal activities, while government guidelines also prohibited the Finnish police from spending and investing the captured coins.
But in January 2021, after a market boom that saw BTC’s price rise by 6,700%, officials decided to liquidate their bags and started the search for brokers capable of the job. In the end, they settled on Coinmotion Oy and Tesseract Group Oy. By this point, the BTC was worth $75 million.
Now it’s sold most of its coins for a huge discount, Finland is left with 92 BTC, worth $2.1 million, in the pot.
Finland makes a bitcoin loss but Ukraine still wants its money
It was previously reported that “tens of millions” made from the BTC sale would go towards bolstering Ukraine’s war effort against the Russian invasion. And while the amount raised is way short of the anticipated figure, Finnish customs are confident the complete sum will be donated.
“As far as Finnish Customs is aware the sales revenue in total is going to be donated to Ukraine and the donation has already been approved by the Finnish Parliament within the second supplementary budget this summer,” a spokesperson told Decrypt.
In the run-up to the war, BTC donations were already being used to aid non-governmental organizations and volunteer groups looking to help fight Russia. Over $100 million in crypto was donated to Ukraine just a month after Putin’s forces invaded.
On the opposite side, Russia has banned the use of digital payments and tokens for the purchasing of goods and services.
As it stands, countries are still rallying behind Ukraine with global leaders meeting earlier this week to discuss their continued support of Ukraine’s defense. Finland and Sweden completed talks to join NATO this month, confirming their ability to meet membership commitments.