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.

AccessTimeIconNov 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.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.