The volume of cryptocurrencies seized by the US government increases in 2021 to exceed USD $ 1 billion.
For years, the United States government has been seizing cryptocurrencies before auctioning them off, and recently sought help from a private company to oversee the storage and sales of those tokens.
Cryptocurrency seizures exceed $ 1 billion in value, according to the director of the Internal Revenue Service’s cybercrime unit, Jarod Koopman.
“In fiscal year 2019, we had around $ 700,000 in crypto seizures. In 2020, it amounted to $ 137 million. And so far in 2021 (in August), we are at USD $ 1.2 billion ”, Koopman told CNBC.
Since the government has accumulated unprecedented amounts of cryptocurrencies in recent years, experts predict that as cybercrime continues to increase at the current rate, the US government’s cryptocurrency wallet will continue to increase.
In fact, in November it was reported that one of the upcoming seizures on the auction block is $ 56 million in cryptocurrencies that authorities seized as part of a Ponzi scheme case involving the overseas cryptocurrency lending program. BitConnect. Unlike other auctions where the proceeds are redistributed to different government agencies, the cash from this crypto sale will be used to reimburse the victims of the fraud.
What the bailiffs have seized
The government’s cryptocurrency seizure and sale operation is growing so fast that it has just enlisted the help of the private sector in managing the storage and sales of its hoard of tokens.
The U.S. Marshals Service, which is the lead agency in charge of auctioning the government’s crypto assets, has so far seized and auctioned (in full) more than 185,000 bitcoins, which estimated to be worth around USD $ 8.6 billion at current prices.
Profits from cryptocurrency sales are often placed on the Treasury Confiscation Fund or in the Department of Justice Asset Forfeiture Fund. After it has been transferred to one of those two accounts, the liquidated cryptocurrency can be used to support a variety of other things on the budget. In some cases, Congress can cancel the funds and redirect the money to other initiatives.
According to Koopman, the cryptocurrencies his team has tracked and seized amounts to around 60 to 70 percent of the Treasury Forfeiture Fund, making him the single largest contributor to the fund as a whole.
Additionally, a Justice Department spokesperson told CNBC that he is “pretty sure” that there is no central database of cryptocurrency seizures. Former federal cybercrime prosecutor Jud Welle said:
“In my experience, people who are in these positions at high levels of government, they can be there for a short period of time and they want to get some victories under their belt. […] This is the kind of thing that definitely grabs the attention of journalists, cybersecurity experts. “
What is known is that the US government has been collaborating with blockchain analytics platforms to monitor transactions, specifically behaviors flagged as suspicious by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
It is not the only country where the volume of crypto seizures has grown. In July, UK police reported that it had broken its own record by seizing $ 250 million in digital currencies as part of a money laundering investigation.
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