US Marshals have lost out on billions of dollars by selling seized Bitcoin too early, according to Jameson Lopp, CEO at key-security company, Casa

Lopp’s new “US Marshals Bitcoin Auction realtime schadenfreude tracker” tracks all the seized Bitcoin that US Marshals have sold—that Lopp knows of, anyhow—and tots it up.

The site shows a history of Bitcoin auctions. Image: Jameson Lopp.

He tracked 185,230 Bitcoin that have been seized by the US Marshals, which was sold for $151,440,000. Value Bitcoin at $10,000—close enough to its current price—and that makes for a $1.85 billion total, and lost gains of $1.7 billion.

Of course, the true value could be far higher. Some 50,000 Bitcoin seized from the original Silk Road was auctioned off in June 2014. Sold at the height of the Bitcoin market, in 2017, that’d be worth $1 billion alone. 

It’s impossible to work out the real value of lost gains: there are too many factors at play, and the final auction hasn’t even happened yet. Last week, the US Government announced an intention to auction off over 4,000, worth around $40 million.

The auction will be cut into four parts: Series A will auction off 5 blocks of 500 Bitcoin; Series B, 10 blocks of 100 Bitcoin; Series C, 10 blocks of 50 Bitcoin; and Series D, 1 block of 40.54 Bitcoin. 

But if Lopp’s calculator is anything to go by, the US government should think twice before making the sale.