The U.S. government is using CoinMarketCap to value seized crypto

A report published Wednesday by the Department of Justice's Office of Inspector General reveals that the U.S. government uses the popular industry data site CoinMarketCap to assess the value of seized cryptocurrencies.

The factoid is featured in the report entitled "Audit of the Assets Forfeiture Fund and Seized Asset Deposit Fund Annual Financial Statements Fiscal Year 2019," the objective of which is to "opine on the financial statements, report on internal control over financial reporting, and report on compliance and other matters, including compliance with the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act of 1996 (FFMIA)."

On the report's thirty-third page, the IG's office makes note of the various tools by which officials assess the value of seized assets and property. Such seizures are "recorded at the estimated market value at the time of forfeiture and is adjusted at the time of disposal, or as needed by AFP management."

Under "Financial Instruments," the report notes that officials use "Web-based valuation tools," and then notes explicitly "(e.g., for crypto currency, CoinMarketCap.com)."

While it's not clear if the DOJ uses other data tools to achieve its crypto valuations (we'll update this story once we hear back from the OIG), its inclusion in the report nonetheless offers a window (albeit a small one) into types of data sources the U.S. government uses for cryptocurrency. CoinMarketCap publishes price averages for a wide variety of cryptocurrencies that are then weighted by exchange volume.

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