The Federal Government Is Starting to Cash In Millions of Seized Bitcoin

December 15, 2017, 4:45 PM UTC

The U.S. government wants to get out of the Bitcoin bubble before it bursts.

A federal judge in Utah has given federal authorities permission to sell its cache of seized Bitcoins, which have a current value of over $9 million. (Feds were also cleared to sell Bitcoin Cash that was seized, which add just under $1 million to the pot.)

The digital currency in question, at one time, belonged to Aaron Shamo, who authorities say sold counterfeit pharmaceuticals over the Dark Web. (Shamo’s trial has not yet been scheduled.) Once the sale takes place, the money will go to an account held at the Treasury Executive Office for Asset Forfeiture.

This may be just the beginning of government Bitcoin cash-ins. In November, ex-Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges was sentenced to two years in prison for money laundering (on top of an existing 71-month sentence). Authorities have begun the forfeiture process of the 1,400 Bitcoins they seized in that investigation and, after a 60-day waiting period that expires early next year, should be able to sell those as well. At current market prices, that would net just under $25 million.