The U.S. Government Has Short-Changed Itself by Auctioning off Stolen Bitcoins Author: Jimmy Aki Last Updated: 12 February 2020 The United States is the biggest economy in the world and is most likely set to retain that title for the foreseeable future. That’s what makes the country so important to the crypto space, and remains the major reason why the push for government adoption. However, the U.S. government hasn’t been overly accepting of digital assets, and for now, hardly wants anything to do with them. Whenever the government or any of its agencies seize Bitcoin from indicted and arrested criminals, the usual path is to sell them off and add the money to what is already in the coffers of the Treasury. However, it would seem that this tactic hasn’t been exactly profitable for Uncle Sam. Almost $2 Billion in Possible Gains Recently, cryptocurrency enthusiast Jameson Loop announced on Twitter that he had been able to create the U.S. Marshals Bitcoin Auction realtime schadenfreude tracker- a platform that makes use of back-dated market rates to find out how much in Bitcoin has been auctioned off by the government over the past few years. As the platform currently shows, authorities across the United States have been able to successfully auction off 185,230 BTC between 2014 and now, with all of those gotten from criminals. Adjusting for price changes and fluctuations in Bitcoin, it shows that the government has been able to make $151,440,000 from those sales. However, while the haul is not minute, it’s worth noting that simply holding these assets and keeping them in, say, a custom wallet would have left $1.875 billion in the Treasury. Essentially, auctioning off these Bitcoins has lost the U.S. government $1.7. billion. As far as potentials gains go, this is definitely a lot of money. The Argument for Legalizing Cryptocurrencies Continues to Grow As for what the government could do with this money, the list is endless. However, the point here is that if the government had developed regulations for and allowed cryptocurrencies to be a part of the American financial climate, then it would have a reason to make use of the Bitcoins and other digital assets that it seizes from criminals. When criminals forfeit their fiat currency, the government holds that money and uses it for something beneficial. It doesn’t auction money away. The same applies to Bitcoin, and given how much Uncle Sam seems to be getting from crypto criminals; it would benefit from creating proper guidance for using the assets. Sadly, this hasn’t been the case. Even though Bitcoin is getting more popular as both a medium of payment and an investment vehicle, the United States government has yet to accommodate it. Short of creating guidance on helping crypto investors to remit their taxes with their digital assets (a document which, as it turns out, had several errors) last October, the federal government has yet to adopt any progressive crypto laws.