The US government now owns $4 billion in Bitcoin, more than quadruple Tesla’s holdings
For many years, the US government has operated a side business selling Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies by auction.
Nonetheless, recent evidence indicates that, despite selling a substantial portion of the Bitcoin it got via seizures, the government retained $4.08 billion in BTC holdings as of February 2022, according to data supplied by Glassnode co-founders Negentropic.
Interestingly, the US government owns more than double the amount of Ukraine ($2.01 billion) and Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), both of which are valued at $1.86 billion. Tesla acquired Bitcoin and included it in its financial statements last year, however, it quickly halted accepting Bitcoin as payment.
The US government is only second in terms of Bitcoin ownership to Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, which has $27.93 billion, and MicroStrategy, which has $5.43 billion.
In 2021 alone, the US authorities seized more than $1 billion in cryptocurrencies, an eightfold increase over the previous year.
Jarod Koopman, director of the Internal Revenue Service’s cybercrime section, said in December: “In fiscal year 2019, we seized around $700,000 in cryptocurrency. It increased to $137 million in 2020. And we’re now at $1.2 billion in 2021 (as of August).”
As of December, the US Marshals Service, the principal agency in charge of auctioning off the government’s cryptocurrency holdings, had seized and auctioned about 185,000 Bitcoins, which were believed to be valued at around $8.6 billion at the time.
Given the government’s tremendous accumulation of bitcoin in recent years, researchers estimate that as long as cybercrime continues to rise at its current pace, the US government’s cryptocurrency wallet will continue to increase.
Notably, Finbold stated on February 1 that Bitcoin worth more than $3.5 billion was ‘on the move’ after the 2016 Bitfinex hack. On January 31, on-chain watchers noticed unusual behaviour around the wallets containing monies from the notorious breach.
Indeed, several observers saw that the money was being aggregated without any privacy-enhancing measures, such as mixing with Monero or Tornado Cash.
Following this, the US Justice Department (DOJ) said on Tuesday, February 8, that it had recovered the stolen BTC, which is now valued at $3.6 billion, in its greatest financial bust in department history.