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US Government as One of the Biggest Bitcoin Holders

US law enforcement‘s major seizures related to the Bitfinex hack and Silk Road are valued at an estimated $5 billion, suggesting that the actual holdings could be significantly higher.

US Law and bitcoin

The United States government stands as one of the world’s leading holders of Bitcoin (BTC), securely managing around 200,000 BTC in hardware wallets.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that various government agencies, including the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service, oversee a variety of encrypted hardware wallets.

A considerable portion of these assets in government possession has been seized from cybercriminals. Data from research firm 21.co indicates that the most recent three seizures added approximately 215,000 BTC to the U.S. government’s holdings.

US Government Bitcoin Balance in USD Value Chart

The analysis underscores that these figures represent the minimum estimates for the U.S. government’s holdings, relying on publicly available information.

In 2020, the Department of Justice seized approximately 69,000 BTC that had previously belonged to Silk Road darknet marketplace founder Ross Ulbricht. On October 2, 2023, he marked the 10th anniversary of his prison sentence.

In January 2022, the government confiscated about 95,000 BTC following the arrest of Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan, who were connected to the Bitfinex crypto exchange hack.

Subsequently, in March 2022, more than 50,000 BTC was seized from James Zhong after he pled guilty to Silk Road-related fraud in November 2022.

For the first time, the U.S. Marshals Service decided to liquidate part of the confiscated cryptocurrency stocks in January 2021, expressing no intention to keep Silk Road-related bitcoins.

On March 14, the government sold 9,800 BTC and announced plans to divest the remaining 41,500 BTC linked to Silk Road.

The timeline for selling the remaining BTC is uncertain, but it will occur in four stages and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2023.

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