Analysis: The U.S. has seized nearly 200,000 bitcoins to date, global confiscations are up to 453,000

Quick Take

  • The total amount of seized or confiscated bitcoins is now nearly 453,000, about 2.6% of the total circulating supply
  • 85.6% of that amount is coming from just two cases — Silk Road and SELEC
  • The U.S. government currently owns at least 4,100 BTC but likely not more than 10,000 BTC
  • Seizures in the U.S. total approximately 198,000 bitcoins from at least 100 different federal criminal, civil, and administrative cases
  • The U.S. sold the majority of seized bitcoins for $151 million. On average, the government sold each seized bitcoin for $780
Bitcoin’s most important value proposition is arguably censorship resistance. Put simply, if the best practices are followed, nobody can freeze or seize your bitcoin holdings. Anyone who owns the private key is the holder of the bitcoins. If the private key is either encrypted or simply memorized, no authority can get to the associated bitcoin. […]

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