The United States seized 8 times more bitcoin in 2021 than in 2020

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States confiscated some $ 1.2 billion in cryptocurrencies in 2021, including bitcoin (BTC). This is a figure 8 times higher than what was seized in 2020, when the amount was only USD 137 million.

The director of the Internal Revenue Service’s cybercrime unit, Jarod Koopman reported days ago that the United States government seized $ 700,000 in 2019, and by 2020 that figure rose to $ 137 million. For that reason, the amount withheld in 2021 (until August), represents a record for the IRS, whose fiscal year ended on September 30.

Koopman said his division tracks cryptocurrencies for tax evasion, false tax returns, and money laundering. It means that their figures do not include other confiscations, such as 69,370 BTC belonging to the Silk Road case that were confiscated by the United States criminal authorities in November 2020, as reported by CriptoNoticias at the time.

Additionally, a Justice Department spokesperson told CNBC that he is “pretty sure” that there is no central cryptocurrency seizure database.

According to the director of the crime unit, the cryptocurrencies that his team has tracked and confiscated amount to about 70% of the Treasury Confiscation Fund, making him the single largest contributor to the overall fund.

It is curious that as cybercrime increases, the government’s cryptocurrency coffers will also increase much more. In fact, government seizure and sale operations of these digital assets are growing so fast that the Justice Department requested the help of the private sector, According to the report.

Anchorage Digital, a bank authorized to safeguard cryptocurrencies, now has the task that BitGo previously had, of managing, storing and selling the cryptocurrency treasure of the United States government, as the note adds.

To date, the government has seized and auctioned more than 185,000 bitcoins, about $ 8.6 billion, as can be seen in the CryptoNews Price Calculator.

The United States government has seized and auctioned more than 185,000 equivalent bitcoins
to more than USD 8.6 billion. Source: Kristina Blokhin / stock.adobe.com

Earnings from cryptocurrency sales are often placed in the Treasury Forfeiture Fund or in the Asset Forfeiture Fund of the Department of Justice. After they have been transferred to one of those two accounts, the settled cryptocurrencies can be used to support a variety of other things on the budget. In some cases, Congress can cancel the funds and redirect the money to other initiatives, the note said.

From what is known, blockchain research firm Chainalysis has been closely related to governments over time. Even former FBI agent Gurvais Grigg was appointed the company’s chief technology officer in April of this year, as reported by CriptoNoticias.

The company tracks the movement of various blockchains, including Bitcoin so that its studies are at the service of law enforcement agencies. With that, maintain vigilance on the movements made by cryptocurrency users with the aim of conducting criminal investigations. They also allow tracking for tax purposes.

Other companies, such as Blockseer, CipherTrace, and Elliptic, also engage in blockchain analysis to track information that is publicly available. They are allies of governments and their security agencies to maintain vigilance in the ecosystem.

Bitcoin: a freedom that shines too brightly

The amount of bitcoin seized by the United States government shows that the technology of surveillance is increasingly active on the network chasing secrets. Users do not know that they are being followed and spied on to discover their private data and, therefore, their true identity.

Governments turn to surveillance technology in order to prevent cryptocurrencies from being used to commit crimes. To do so, they start from the principle that everyone should be watched, despite the fact that this is detrimental to privacy.

Within the Bitcoin ecosystem, cryptography, privacy and data protection have always been key priority elements for a community that values ​​these elements above all other considerations.

Based on this data protection, the Bitcoin protocol is designed for two parties to exchange their assets without the intervention of a third party, without both revealing their personal information, as happens when one person gives cash to another.

In such a way that Trading bitcoin without the intervention of a centralized third party offers brilliant freedom to anyone who uses bitcoin. By nature bitcoin is unstoppable and programmable money that cannot be demoted or censored and that fights against surveillance and forfeiture. This as long as each individual can guard their bitcoin by moving it to an address that they control with a set of digital keys.

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