On-chain analytics and security firm Chainalysis has announced the launch of its „Asset Recovery Program,“ designed to help government agencies and bankruptcy practitioners handle, store, recover and monitor seized assets.
The program was launched just days after the seizure of over $ 1 billion worth of Bitcoin by US authorities – belonging to the now-defunct Silk Road marketplace – in one of the largest seizures of cryptocurrencies to date.
US Government Bitcoin Sale
The authorities did not get hold of Bitcoin on Silk Road by chance. Chainalysis‘ tools and investigative support services have been heavily involved in helping judicial authorities identify and investigate the crypto wallets used by the owners of the marketplace – funds that have been or should be used to help sell narcotics on the dark web – Silk Road marketplace to facilitate.
However, owning such a large amount of Bitcoin is a problem. The only two options available are to either store the money or eventually sell it in the open market. This is where the new Chainalysis program comes in. , The company in a message:
„As law enforcement becomes more sophisticated in investigating illegal activities related to cryptocurrencies, including the confiscation of illegal proceeds, the need for digital asset realization services grows“
Chainalysis Chief Revenue Officer Jason Bonds said in a statement that the maturation of the cryptocurrency market means its use by good and bad actors is increasing in similar fashion.
But the company can help, as he writes:
„As our government partners become increasingly successful in eradicating the bad actors, helping them recover and realize assets is a natural next step.“
In short, the US government could soon sell the bitcoins it owns … facilitated by Chainalysis.
Good for crypto … maybe not
Asset Reality, which manages and exploits seized assets for public and private sector clients around the world, will work with Chainalysis to determine how to sell the seized funds.
The team consists of legal and law enforcement practitioners who provide strategic advisory services and training to law enforcement agencies around the world on cryptocurrency and other complex assets.
This step is not the first for Chainalysis. Earlier this year, the company’s services were similarly used in high-profile law enforcement operations involving similar civil forfeiture actions against cryptocurrencies – such as terrorist financing and North Korean hacking cases.
But that begs another question: is a company that tracks crypto addresses working against the very ethos of crypto (privacy) – or not?
Controversial opinion: the DOJ should not sell seized Bitcoins, it should begin stockpiling a national reserve of BTC to back the USD after the fiat era ends