When the FBI shut down the popular crypto-market, Silk Road, they stole 144,336 Bitcoin from it’s owner in the process. After going through the necessary legal gymnastics to justify this theft, they decided to offload the Bitcions in an auction. This is not unlike when they auction off luxury vehicles that the FBI or other police agencies steal from drug dealers and others through things like civil asset forfeiture.
When they held this auction, they sold off the Bitcoin at an average price of $334, bringing in about $48 million. While this may have seemed like a good move at the time, especially since they had no real risk or work invested in acquiring the coins.
Had the FBI held on to the coins and sold them at $17,000 now, they could have brought in $2.4 billion. If Bitcoin continues to go up, the value could have become incredible. Of course, the US government, including the FBI, is not exactly known for making smart financial investments so perhaps this shouldn’t come as a surprise.
While there are many people who ‘could have been rich’ if they would have just held their Bitcoin or other cryptos longer, it is always fun to look back at some of the more iconic blunders people (or government agencies in this case) have made.
If you’re hands are feeling weak holding Bitcoin at these high prices, remember that many people in the past thought they were in the same position, but they sold out at prices thousands of dollars lower than we’re seeing today.