The cryptocurrency world is abuzz with the revelation that the US government is among the top Bitcoin holders. With an estimated value of over $5 billion in Bitcoin, the US government’s involvement in the crypto space is more significant than ever.
A Staggering $5 Billion in Bitcoin
Recent data analysis reveals that the US government holds over 200,000 BTC, which is valued at more than $5 billion. This revelation comes despite the fact that the government sold thousands of BTC worth millions earlier this year. The analysis, conducted by crypto firm 21.co, estimates the US government’s holdings at 194,188 BTC, valued at approximately $5.3 billion. It’s worth noting that these figures are based on publicly available information and might be on the lower side of the actual holdings.
Major Bitcoin Seizures
The US government’s Bitcoin holdings can be traced back to three significant BTC seizures since 2020:
- The Silk Road seizure in November 2020, which amounted to 69,369 BTC.
- The Bitfinex Hack seizure in January 2022, which resulted in the acquisition of 94,643 BTC.
- The James Zhong seizure in March 2022, where 51,326 BTC were obtained.
These Bitcoins are primarily stored offline in encrypted storage devices known as hardware wallets. These wallets are under the custody of the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service.
Selling Seized Bitcoin
It’s essential to understand that seized assets don’t immediately become government property. The US Marshals Service, responsible for selling seized property, only gains possession of the seized Bitcoin after a court issues a definitive forfeiture judgment. Over the years, the US government has occasionally sold a portion of the seized Bitcoin. One of the most notable sales dates back to 2014 when billionaire Tim Draper purchased 30,000 BTC from a US government auction.
In recent times, the government has shifted its strategy, opting to sell seized Bitcoin through crypto exchanges instead of public auctions. A notable instance of this was in March of the current year when the government sold 9,118 BTC on Coinbase.
The US government’s involvement in the cryptocurrency space is profound, with its position as one of the largest Bitcoin holders. With holdings estimated at over $5 billion, the government’s interaction with Bitcoin is not just regulatory but also as a significant stakeholder. The accumulation of such vast amounts of Bitcoin primarily stems from major seizures related to cybercrimes and illicit activities. While the government has occasionally liquidated some of its holdings, the majority remains securely stored. This substantial holding underscores the growing importance and recognition of cryptocurrencies, even at the highest levels of government.
We will monitor the US governments holdings here at allincrypto.com and report on any changes!