US Government Announces It had Confiscated $1.5 billion in Cryptocurrency in 2021

Azeez Mustapha
5 August 2021 | Updated: 5 August 2021

According to the Director of Cybercrime at the Internal Revenue Service, Jarod Koopman, the US government has confiscated cryptocurrencies worth about $1.2 billion in 2021 alone. This figure is a significant increase from the number recorded last year with $137 million in seized cryptos.

Koopman revealed the latest figures in an interview with CNBC on Wednesday, adding that the confiscation of cryptocurrencies involved a joint effort from other agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Homeland Securities Investigations, the Secret Service, and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The director noted that:

“We all come together when it’s time to execute any type of enforcement action, whether that’s an arrest, a seizure, or a search warrant. And that could be nationally or globally,”

Koopman detailed the increased progression of seized cryptos over the years, noting that: “In the fiscal year 2019, we had about $700,000 worth of crypto seizures. In 2020, it was up to $137 million. And so far, in 2021, we’re at $1.2 billion.”

The IRS executive noted that several agents are involved during the confiscation of cryptos to ensure adequate supervision. On the matter of safety of seized assets, Koopman revealed that:

“We maintain private keys only in headquarters so that it can’t be tampered with.”

US Government Does Not Time Auctioning: Koopman

Once a case gets concluded, the US Marshals Service (USMS) organizes an auction for the seized crypto assets. So far, the USMC has auctioned off over 185,000 BTC.

Last week, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) chose crypto custodian company Anchorage Digital to hold seized or forfeited crypto assets.

Meanwhile, Koopman clarified that the auctioning process occurred in blocks and at fair market value, noting that the government does not market conditions (bullish or bearish) in its auctioning process. He stated that:

“You basically get in line to auction it off. We don’t ever want to flood the market with a tremendous amount, which then could have an effect on the pricing component.”

 

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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.