US Gov. Holds Significant Bitcoin Stockpile, but Isn’t in a Hurry to Sell


Key Points

  • The US government is now one of the biggest Bitcoin owners after seizing almost 200,000 BTC from online criminals.
  • Despite owning Bitcoin valued almost $5.4 billion, the federal government doesn’t appear to be in a rush to sell it.
  • Due to protracted investigations and legal actions, the liquidation process might take years.

The US government has one of the largest Bitcoin hoards in the world after seizing almost 200,000 BTC from online criminals. Uncle Sam, on the other hand, seems to be taking its time to dispose its large stockpile and has unintentionally taken on the role of a lazy hodler.


About $5.4 billion worth of Bitcoin are held by the federal government. A hoard this size would undoubtedly impact markets and boost selling pressure if it were sold.

No Time Pressure to Sell

The Wall Street Journal investigated the government’s Bitcoin holdings on October 15. The US has been “notoriously slow to convert its stash of Bitcoin” into dollars, according to the report.

It also pointed out that it doesn’t seem to be deliberately holding out for greater prices.

“That big pile of bitcoin is more a byproduct of a lengthy legal process than strategic planning.”

According to Jarod Koopman, executive director of the IRS’s cyber and forensics services division, “We don’t play the market. In essence, the time of our process determines us.


In hardware wallets under the jurisdiction of organizations like the Department of Justice and Internal Revenue Service (IRS), BTC is kept offline.

In addition, protracted investigations and legal actions might make it take years from the original seizure to liquidation. This has occasionally made it possible for the government to gain from rising Bitcoin prices.

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When a case is resolved, the Marshals Service sells the Bitcoin and distributes the earnings to the victims or pays for the costs of the investigation.

Follow GappyCoin PreSale on Twitter, and ReCap for information and more.

Auctions were used in the past for liquidations, but today exchanges like Coinbase are utilised. To minimize market impact, the Marshals Service disperses sales.

Carnegie Mellon University’s Nicolas Christin, a professor of computer science, commented:

“The government moves generally very slowly to dispose of those assets because they’ve got to do a ton of due diligence, the cases are often complicated and there’s a lot of red tape.”

The government most recently sold 9,861 BTC via Coinbase in March. A representative for the government stated, “Our goal is to dispose of assets in a timely manner at fair market value.”

According to several sources, the government resumed shifting Bitcoin around in July.

Uncle Sam’s Large Bitcoin Accumulation

The parent business of 21shares,, reports that the US government has seized at least 215,000 BTC since 2020. On a Dune Analytics page, three seizures have been monitored since 2020.

The amount taken from the Silk Road in November 2020 was 69,369 BTC. A Bitfinex hack seizure in January 2022 reached 94,643 BTC, while the James Zhong seizure in March 2022 was 51,326 BTC.

Since has only tallied and monitored 194,188 BTC, its total stockpile may actually be substantially more.

US Govt BTC holdings. Source: Dune Analytics 

In conclusion, there is little chance that this full tranche of BTC will ever be liquidated at once, possibly resulting in a market crash.CRYPTOCASTER® - DECENTRALIZED FREEDOM!

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