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Chainalysis Wants to Help the Feds Sell Millions in Forfeited Bitcoin

The new service launch comes just one week after U.S. federal agents announced the seizure of over $1 billion in bitcoin.

Nov 12, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. UTC

Chainalysis is preparing to help its governmental clients sell the same trove of forfeited cryptocurrencies the blockchain tracing company often assists in tracking down.

  • On Thursday, Chainalysis unveiled a program for storing and selling forfeited crypto in partnership with confiscated asset consultancy Asset Reality.
  • The program will likely cater to many of the same government clients that already pay Chainalysis millions of dollars annually to help trace illicit crypto transactions.
  • Those investigations sometimes lead to agencies taking possession of eye-popping crypto sums. Just last week, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it seized over $1 billion in bitcoin that Chainalysis software traced back to Silk Road.
  • DOJ agencies unload their crypto on the public through semi-regular forfeiture auctions. These sales can raise tens of millions of dollars for the government.
  • But the U.S. Marshals Service, which runs those auctions, has been asking since April for a private-sector partner to help it manage and dispose of forfeited cryptocurrency. 
  • Chainalysis representatives did not immediately confirm if its new partnership with Asset Reality was in response to the U.S. Marshals’ request.

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