The U.S. government might sell nearly $4.4 billion in Bitcoin at any moment

The United States government has become one of the greatest Bitcoin whales over the last several years by seizing unlawfully acquired cash. Eventually, it will most likely attempt to dispose of these monies through private auctions.

In November 2021, the Department of Justice (DOJ) seized a little over 50,676.17 BTC (worth around $1 billion at current values) from a Bitcoin dealer called James Zhong. Zhong defrauded the darknet marketplace Silk Road in September 2012 by manipulating the platform’s withdrawal process; he pled guilty to one count of wire fraud last week, on November 4, 2022.

The Department of Justice publicised the seizure as a $3.36 billion haul, which, although accurate at the time of the enforcement action, fails to account for Bitcoin’s 69% decline from its all-time high. Nevertheless, the seizure is noteworthy, ranking as the third-largest in the history of cryptocurrencies, according to Crypto Briefing, particularly given the amount of Bitcoin already under U.S. government control.

In addition to the 50,676 BTC confiscated from Zhong, the U.S. government has acquired a minimum of 163,370 BTC during the last two years, for a grand total of 214,046 BTC, or about $4.43 billion.

In November 2020, the DOJ seized 69,370 BTC (worth over $1.4 billion today) from another user of Silk Road, identified by the government as “Person X.” This was the network’s fourth-largest Bitcoin address at the time; the seizure made the United States government one of the world’s largest Bitcoin whales.

The agency also confiscated over 94,000 BTC from Heather “Razzlekhan” Morgan and Ilya Lichtenstein, saying that the pair was planning to launder funds from the historic 2016 breach of the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex. The amount, which was worth $3.6 billion at the time is now worth over $1.9 billion.

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