March 26, 2024
The United States has seized and auctioned over 185,000 bitcoins in the past few years, the value of which is equivalent to the GDP of Bhutan, Seychelles, and the Maldives put together. At the current price of Bitcoin—$46,500—the US has seized and auctioned bitcoins worth $8.6 billion. The GDP of Seychelles, Bhutan, and Maldives is approximately $1.5 billion, $2.5 billion, and $4 billion, respectively. 

“In the fiscal year 2019, we had about $700,000 worth of crypto seizures. In 2020, it was $137 million. And so far in 2021, we are at $1.2 billion,” Jarod Koopman of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had told CNBC in August. However, the government had sold the coins well below Bitcoin’s current price.

In fact, as per an NBC report, in November 2020, the agency had seized $1 billion worth of Bitcoin in connection with the illegal Silk Road marketplace. The case is still pending, so the holdings are in a Bitcoin wallet. But in the year since, Bitcoin’s price has nearly tripled to reach an all-time high of $69,000. It is currently trading at $56,000-level, up from $18,000 in November 2020. 

But why does the US have Bitcoin?

The government obtains these Bitcoins and other assets from high-profile sting operations. Other assets like “10 boats, 12 cars, and then one of the lots is X number of bitcoin being auctioned,” Koopman said.

For example, the Silk Road marketplace operation that had made the department thousands of Bitcoin richer. It was the biggest-ever…

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