Did you know? The Chinese government is the second-largest Bitcoin holder


TL; DR Breakdown: 

  • The Chinese government holds more than 194k Bitcoin, which was seized from the PlusToken scammers.
  • Most countries gained cryptocurrencies via seizure, except for El Salvador which recently announced its Bitcoin reserve. 

Judging by the ongoing crypto regulatory tension and crackdown in China, one can easily conclude that the country is the most stringent place for any digital currency-related operations. Most exchanges and miners operating in the country have had to shut down or migrated to other jurisdictions. Amidst all these tussles, did you know the Chinese government is still the second-largest single entity holding Bitcoin (BTC)?

The Chinese government holds over $8 billion in Bitcoin

For the record, China accounts for 0.9% of all Bitcoin in circulation, according to the information provided by Kevin Rooke. The Chinese government reportedly has about 194,775 BTC, which is worth over $8.1 billion at the current price of $42,040 per coin. The country is only second to Grayscale, a company that manages crypto investment funds. 

Grayscale reportedly holds 653,632 BTC, worth over $27 billion, and also represents about 3.1% of the Bitcoin supply. The US government holds 70,124 BTC, according to the data. 

Although the US and Chinese governments have a sizable amount of BTC in possession, reports of BTC purchases from governments are very rare. Except for El Salvador, which recently purchased a total of 550 Bitcoin, the Bitcoins held by these governments mainly were ones confiscated from cyber criminals or violators. 

Chiba, US gained Bitcoin via seizures

There are several cases where the Chinese and US confiscated a significant amount of cryptocurrencies. In November last year, the Chinese authorities seized about $4.2 billion in crypto from the PlusToken Ponzi crackdown – including the 194,775 BTC, 833,083 ETH, and many other cryptocurrencies. 

In August, the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reported they had about $1.2 billion worth of crypto in their possession, which was all seized. Also, in November 2020, the Department of Justice announced they seized about $1 billion worth of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash

Both the US and Chinese authorities have an obligation to auction these coins, as seen in the past with other countries such as Ireland, Belgium, South Korea, and so on.

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