Chicago suburb prepares to sell $10000 in bitcoins

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As the price of a single bitcoin climbs ever higher, one small town’s police force in suburban Illinois is preparing to cash in.

The village of Vernon Hills, Ill., an affluent Chicago suburb, is about to sell roughly $10,000 worth of bitcoins that were seized last year during a criminal drug investigation, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Village trustees granted Nikki Larson, the town’s finance director, permission to begin selling the coins, the Tribune reports.

The town will open an account with Coinbase, a popular digital-currency exchange, to facilitate the sale of the coins. Proceeds will be deposited in the local police department’s asset-forfeiture account, the Tribune reported. The coins were seized during a joint investigation by local and federal law-enforcement agencies. Details of the investigation weren’t available.

Neither Larson nor a media representative for local police were available to comment.

The auction likely won’t be the town’s last. Vernon Hills’s police department is working on two active investigations involving the use of bitcoins by criminal organizations, according to a local police spokeswoman quoted by the Tribune.

In 2015, U.S. Marshals auctioned off the last block of bitcoin’s seized from the now-defunct Silk Road, a peddler of illegal drugs, guns and services based on the so-called dark web. The Federal Bureau of Investigation closed the website in 2013. Its founder, Ross Ulbricht, was later sentenced to life in prison without parole.

The sale comes at a fortuitous time: The price of a single bitcoin

US:BTCUSD

 hit $1,060 on Tuesday, its highest level in more than a month. Bitcoin is presently trading just below a more than three-year high reached in early January.

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