On August 16, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released public notices about its recent seizures of cryptocurrencies. The report highlights the confiscation of three major digital currencies: Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Tether.
Diverse Seizures Beyond Cryptocurrencies
Apart from the cryptocurrencies, the FBI’s filing displayed various confiscated items, ranging from weapons to trendy sneakers and clothing.
Enforcement officers confiscated 428.5 Ethereum across four wallets. These holdings collectively amounted to nearly $800,000 during enforcement. Surprisingly, one seizure alone represented a whopping $463,811. Interestingly, Ethereum’s value has remained stable since the confiscations in April and May. Based on today’s rates, the total 428.5 Ethereum equates to around $782,000.
Despite Ethereum’s significant seizure, Bitcoin’s confiscation was less but still considerable. The filing dated August 16 notes that the seized Bitcoin value was five times less than the Ethereum one. In total, 5.12 Bitcoins were seized in 2023, holding an initial worth of $136,893.01. As of now, these Bitcoins’ value stands at approximately $149,221.00.
Within the March to May timeframe, the FBI reported a seizure of Tether valued at $310,277.
Reasons Behind the FBI Seizures
The assets’ confiscation wasn’t random. The FBI clarified: “The property listed below was seized for federal forfeiture due to violation of federal law.”
The FBI’s focus on the cryptocurrency sector intensified this year. The FBI searched Jesse Powell’s residence, the brain behind the crypto exchange Kraken. The probe centered around allegations of hacking and cyberstalking targeted at a nonprofit arts association.
Furthermore, in a joint effort with Ukraine’s National Police, the FBI closed nine crypto exchanges believed to be involved in money laundering operations. The impacted exchanges include 24xbtc.com, 100btc.pro, pridechange.com, 101crypta.com, uxbtc.com, trust-exchange.org, bitcoin24.exchange, paybtc.pro, and owl.gold.
As cryptocurrencies continue to gain momentum globally, FBI actions like these highlight the sector’s challenges and the need for more transparent operations.
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