US government sells seized BTC too early, misses out on $1.7 billion

US government sells seized BTC too early, misses out on $1.7 billion
Written by:
Ali Raza
11th February, 13:03
Updated: 11th March, 08:59
  • The US government lost a fortune by selling seized BTC coins prematurely in auctions over the past 6 years.
  • The government allegedly only earned $150 million, when they could have earned $1.7 billion.
  • Other governments made considerable profits by HODLing or selling their seized coins with a bit more planning involved.

Every crypto investor lives in fear of missing out on an excellent trading opportunity, whether they sell too soon and miss out on major profits caused by price surge, or they sell too late and the price gets knocked down in the meantime. The US government recently learned what it is like to sell prematurely after they sold a total of 185,230 BTC, accumulated over numerous seizures.

However, this premature sale resulted in the government losing nearly $1.7 billion. Other governments, on the other hand — especially those who studied crypto and started to understand the way the sector ‘breathes,’ managed to reap the benefits by being patient.

The report about the government’s mistake was published by a crypto enthusiast and privacy advocate, Jameson Lopp. Lopp created a tracker that calculated exactly how much the government lost by rushing to get rid of crypto instead of HODLing it.

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As some may know, the government has been seizing BTC for years, and it started holding a series of auctions back in 2014. There is even an auction now, conducted throughout February, during which the government decided to sell around 4,000 BTC. The sum that the authorities earned from these auctions barely exceeds $150 million, which is barely a fraction of what they could have earned if they waited a few years.

How did other governments approach the situation?

But, as mentioned, there are plenty of governments that were not so rash when it comes to their own coins. They had taken to HODLing years ago, which would allow them to earn a considerable profit if they sell when the price surges. The government of Bulgaria, for example, seized around 213,000 BTC coins from criminals. At the moment, the amount they could get for this pile of coins is at around $2 billion.

At BTC’s ATH, the stash was worth around $3 billion, in total. It is currently unknown what the government actually plans to do with these coins, but no matter what they decide, the fact is that they are sitting at a major treasure chest at the moment.

The UK government had a stash of its own, although they sold their coins as well. Of course, the UK approached the situation with a bit more planning, so they sold their coins back in September 2019, earning $369,000 by selling BTC for $8,000 per coin.

Despite the US’ rash decisions, it does appear like the country might be opening up to BTC, at least judging by the SEC’s decision to look into crypto this year.

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