The US government is holding over $5 billion worth of Bitcoin in hardware wallets, which are seized from several cybercriminals and illegal activities.
A report from the Wall Street Journal shares that the US government is one of the largest holders of Bitcoin, which has stored over 200,000 BTC and is controlled by agencies such as the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service.
Despite the government selling 20,000 bitcoins, it still has more than $5 billion worth of cryptocurrency left. The report states that the actual size of the total Bitcoin stash is likely much bigger than estimated.
According to 21.co’s analysis dashboard on Dune, the government has at least 215,000 BTC from three major seizures, including 69,369 of Silk Road – a darkweb marketplace, 94,643 of Bitfinex hackers, and 51,326 of James Zhong, the Silk Road fraudster who is currently in jail.
The holding of these assets is vastly monitored by cryptocurrency investors. It has been a topic of interest among the crypto community as the selling or moving of Bitcoin by the government may largely affect its market.
The US government, however, is not intending to sell off the stash to gain profits, nor does it want to hold it for future sale. Moving or accessing these seizures requires agencies to go through lengthy legal processes, which could take years.
Moreover, these assets are transferred to the US Marshal Service – the agency overseeing the liquidation of government seized assets – which will take place only after a court order.