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Chinese Gov Bitcoin Holdings Outrank MicroStrategy Despite Crypto Ban

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • The Chinese government holds approximately 194,775 BTC valued at roughly $3.9 billion.
  • The government seized the funds during its investigation of the PlusToken ponzi scheme.
  • Funds linked to PlusToken are still on the move.
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The Chinese government currently has more Bitcoin holdings than MicroStrategy as a result of the funds it seized from the PlusToken Ponzi scheme.

The Chinese government holds more Bitcoin than MicroStrategy after it seized 194,775 BTC during the infamous PlusToken scam.

The total value of the Bitcoin holdings is about $3.9 billion.

In addition to the Bitcoin, the government also seized 833,083 ETH, 1.4 million LTC, 27.6 million EOS, 74,167 DASH, 487 million XRP, 6 billion DOGE, 79,581 BCH, and 213,724 USDT. In total, the government has crypto assets worth over $5 billion.

China’s Bitcoin Holdings Top Even MicroStrategy

This makes the Chinese government holder of over 1% of the total bitcoins in circulation. However, the current status of this stash is not known. There is no information on whether this has been sold or any update from the government at all.

The crypto assets were seized during the infamous PlusToken scam, which was a Ponzi scheme that siphoned between $2 to $2.9 billion at the time. A Chinese court has highlighted that the seized tokens “would be processed pursuant to laws” and “forfeited to the national treasury.”

There is some concern in the market that the country could influence the price of bitcoin and the market if it sold the assets. The concerns are similar to the worries that the Mt. Gox rehabilitation plan will deliver 140,000 BTC to creditors. However, that concern has been assuaged.

But in this case, China could dump a large amount of bitcoin, which would negatively affect the market. This remains speculation, however.

PlusToken — One of the Biggest Crypto Ponzis

The PlusToken Ponzi scheme began in 2018, saying that it would offer monthly payments to users of its cryptocurrency wallet. Most of its users were based in China and South Korea.

The Ponzi scheme was helmed by multiple individuals who were arrested in various countries, including Vanuatu, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Malaysia. 27 of them were sentenced to 11 years in prison. There were over 100 members in the scam.

The selloff during the Ponzi scheme was believed to have had a negative effect on bitcoin and the market. Accounts associated with the scam were frequently moving large amounts of tokens like ether, stoking fears in the market.

Funds Linked to PlusToken Still Moving

Firms like CryptoQuant have analyzed how funds from PlusToken have moved. Primitive Crypto founder Dovey Wan also said that it was sent to exchanges like Bittrex and Huobi. CryptoQuant used multi-hop graph traversal to identify the wallets in question.

However, in what is a surprising development, funds are still moving. 60 BTC was moved from a mixer to exchanges on Nov. 2 and 50 BTC on Oct. 28. 750 BTC was also moved in June 2022.

Data Source: CryptoQuant
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Rahul Nambiampurath
Rahul Nambiampurath's cryptocurrency journey first began in 2014 when he stumbled upon Satoshi's Bitcoin whitepaper. With a bachelor's degree in Commerce and an MBA in Finance from Sikkim Manipal University, he was among the few that first recognized the sheer untapped potential of decentralized technologies. Since then, he has helped DeFi platforms like Balancer and Sidus Heroes — a web3 metaverse — as well as CEXs like Bitso (Mexico's biggest) and Overbit to reach new heights with his...
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