The US government now has at least 210,000 Bitcoin (BTC) worth over $4.3B, making it one of the largest BTC whales.
Following the disclosure of its 50,000 BTC confiscation, the US government now owns at least 210,000 BTC due to records of asset seizure from criminal activities, as highlighted by prominent crypto influencer Satoshi Stacker. This makes the United States one of the biggest BTC whales as selloff concerns brew.
“BREAKING: The US government now holds 210,000 Bitcoin. That’s roughly $4,300,000,000. It makes the US one of the largest Bitcoin whales out there.” Satoshi Stacker mentioned in a tweet Monday. The revelation has precipitated a wave of selloff concerns amongst several crypto proponents.
— Satoshi Stacker (@StackerSatoshi) November 7, 2022
The US government’s total BTC holding was recently officially increased following the guilty plea from James Zhong. He masterminded a scheme to defraud the dark web marketplace Silk Road in September 2012. Zhong unlawfully amassed 50,676 BTC through the scheme.
Notwithstanding, in November of 2021, American authorities were able to confiscate the BTC in Zhong’s possession amidst a raid on his home, as previously reported. Zhong recently pleaded guilty to the charges brought on him, sealing the authorities’ claims to the BTC seized.
In November 2020, the US Department of Justice announced the seizure of about 70,000 BTC from a person dubbed “Individual X” by the agency. Once again, the assets were seized from a hacker who illegally obtained them on the Silk Road marketplace.
Furthermore, US authorities disclosed that they had confiscated about $3.6B in bitcoin from two individuals – Ilya Lichtenstein and his wife, Heather Morgan, who was connected with the Bitfinex hack in 2016. The DoJ revealed that the charges brought on the couple include a conspiracy to launder $4.5B in stolen cryptocurrency stolen from the Bitfinex hack.
The stats show the US government is one of the largest holders of Bitcoin, towering over even MicroStrategy with over 130,000 BTC on its balance sheets.
The US government has a pattern of auctioning off any crypto assets confiscated from criminal activities through its Marshall Services. In November last year, the authorities sold off $56M worth of cryptocurrencies seized from the BitConnect fraud scheme. The proceeds from the auctions are either used to compensate crime victims or distributed amongst government agencies.
The United States is not the only government with a large amount of BTC. Recently, CryptoQuant CEO Ki Young Ju highlighted that the Chinese government has about 194K Bitcoin seized from the PlusToken scam in 2019.
Furthermore, Ki noted that Bulgarian authorities might own up to 200,000 BTC, as recently reported by The Crypto Basic. The assets were discovered in a customs-related crime bust, but the Bulgarian government has neither denied nor confirmed holding the assets.
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