The United States government, which has held a total of 185,230 bitcoins following multiple seizures, has lost out on almost $1.7 billion by selling them too early. Meanwhile, other governments have their own holdings of Bitcoin and have been reaping the benefits.
The United States Government’s lackadaisical approach to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies has finally caught up with it, as the 185,230 bitcoins it once held on to has now risen to an approximate value of $1.8 billion. Cryptocurrency enthusiast, privacy advocate, and cypherpunk, Jameson Lopp, created a tracker that shows exactly how much the U.S. Government has lost within a corresponding timeframe:
The government sold its holdings of Bitcoin over a series of auctions starting in 2014. An auction is currently being conducted throughout the month of February, with just over 4,000 BTC up for sale. The total sum that it’s earned from selling Bitcoin over all of these auctions? Just over $150 million — which pales in comparison to the $1.8 billion that could have been raked in, missing out on roughly $1.65 billion.
Some Governments Practice Bitcoin ‘Hodling’
Other governments though have taken to the ‘hodl’ strategy. The Bulgarian government seized about 213,000 BTC from a criminal operation, worth about $2 billion. At Bitcoin’s peak price, this would be a stash worth over $3 billion. Little is known about what the Bulgarian Government plans to do with the Bitcoin, but it is a hefty treasure chest to be sitting on.
The United Kingdom has also sold Bitcoin, but in a manner that is more logical. In September 2019, the British government obtained roughly $369,000 for selling its Bitcoin, at a time when Bitcoin was priced at approximately $8,000 per BTC.
The United States is Opening Up to Cryptocurrencies
Despite officials selling Bitcoin off at the wrong times, the U.S. Government is otherwise warming up to the idea of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has emphasized that it will be looking into cryptocurrencies this year. An Exchange-Traded Product (ETP) is yet to be approved, but insiders are hopeful that it will happen this year.
Meanwhile, former Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman, Christopher Giancarlo, has said that the U.S. must look into a digital dollar, and has launched an effort to do the same. Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard has also suggested that a dollar-based Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) may be considered.