March 27, 2024
US Government Among Top Bitcoin Holders, Owning Over $5 Billion in BTC: Report
Bitcoin News

US Government Among Top Bitcoin Holders, Owning Over $5 Billion in BTC: Report

The United States government has emerged as one of the largest Bitcoin holders, currently owning over 200,000 BTC valued at more than $5 billion, despite having sold a few thousand BTC worth millions earlier this year.

Data analysis by the crypto firm 21.co suggests that the U.S. government still holds approximately 194,188 BTC, estimated to be worth around $5.3 billion. It’s important to note that these estimates are conservative and represent the minimum holdings based on publicly available information. The analysis tracked Bitcoin movements in U.S. government wallets associated with the three most significant BTC seizures since 2020, namely the Silk Road seizure of 69,369 BTC in November 2020, the Bitfinex Hack seizure of 94,643 BTC in January 2022, and the James Zhong seizure of 51,326 BTC in March 2022.

The government’s Bitcoin holdings are primarily stored offline in encrypted storage devices known as hardware wallets, safeguarded under the jurisdiction of the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service. Notably, the U.S. government made two substantial seizures in 2022.

It’s important to clarify that seized assets do not immediately become government property. The U.S. Marshals Service, the primary agency responsible for selling seized property, takes possession of the seized Bitcoin only after a court issues a definitive forfeiture judgment.

In recent years, the U.S. government has opted to sell some of its seized Bitcoin through cryptocurrency exchanges rather than solely through public auctions. An example of this approach was seen in March of this year when the government sold 9,118 BTC on Coinbase, as confirmed by a public filing. This contrasts with previous years when notable government auctions, such as the one in 2014, saw billionaire Tim Draper purchasing 30,000 BTC from the U.S. government.

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