Let’s say the US Government decided it had to amass 1 million Bitcoin. That would be around 5% of the total Bitcoin supply, give or take. (Coincidentally, this is also the amount of Bitcoin believed to have been mined and held by Bitcoin‘s creator, Satoshi Namamoto.)
**Option 1: Mine Bitcoin [insufficient]**
This really won’t get the US Government very far. Only 18,250 new BTC will be mined per year for the next few years, and that goes down by half every four years. Even if the US Government somehow came to control a significant share of the world’s total mining power, mining alone would never produce 1 million BTC for the US Government.
**Option 2: Buy Bitcoin [possible]**
At today’s prices, 1 million Bitcoin is worth 60 billion dollars. That doesn’t mean that the US government could buy 1 million Bitcoin for $60B, but it’s not inconceivable that the US Government could buy it’s way to 1 million Bitcoin. To put it in perspective, Microstrategy has amassed ~90,000 Bitcoin through smart Bitcoin purchasing strategies, and Tesla owns ~45,000 Bitcoin.
**Option 3: Accept Bitcoin as tax payments [possible]**
Similar to how Tesla will let people buy cars with Bitcoin and then hold that Bitcoin in its treasury rather than cashing BTC proceeds into to US Dollars, the US Government could accept tax payments in Bitcoin and amass them in the US Treasury. The US Government collects ~2 trillion dollars in taxes from individuals each year, so even if a small fraction was paid in Bitcoin, that could conceivably add up to a large Bitcoin war chest for the US Government over time.
**Option 4: Skim Bitcoin from US hodlers through an annual Bitcoin Wealth Tax [possible]**
Imagine you had to pay 1% of your Bitcoin holdings to the US Government each year. Maybe you think this is unfair and unlikely, but a Bitcoin Wealth Tax is far more mild than the hammer of Option 5, for which there is precedent.
**Option 5: Seize all Bitcoin from US citizens through decree [possible]**
Sounds crazy, but almost this exact thing happened in the US with gold in 1933, with President Roosevelt’s [Executive Order 6102](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_6102). This order made it illegal for US citizens to hold significant quantities of gold, and it forced people to exchange gold for gold-backed US Dollars. The US Dollar was somewhat pegged to gold until 1971, when the US Dollar became a truly untethered fiat currency subject to arbitrary monetary supply inflation, resulting in the macroeconomic environment that has given rise to Bitcoin. (kind of meta, right?)
**Option 6: hack/seize it from Iran and other adversaries [possible]**
Seems technically possible, but I believe this would be an act of war. Which would be tough to imagine, unless we were already at war with the target nation.
**Option 7: anonymously hack or steal bitcoin from hodlers [unlikely]**
Seems technically plausible through widespread social engineering, hacking of exchanges, or various MITM/browser/ISP fuckery, but this would probably be a last resort move for the US Government. Not sure how they’d ever be able to publicize ownership of this stolen Bitcoin without admitting to massive criminal theft.