News

Don’t sell seized Bitcoins, influencer tells US officials

Saudu Clement
Saudu Clement

Pierre Rochard, a bitcoin influencer has appealed to U.S. lawmakers to stop the sale of seized bitcoins valued at around $1.6 billion.

69,370 bitcoins were seized from an alleged Silk Road hacker by the IRS in November. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has already filed a civil complaint about forfeiture of the assets. Rochard argues that even though the officials will prevail in court, they shouldn’t sell the bitcoins. Instead, the confiscated assets should be put into a strategic Bitcoin reserve.

Rochard is a Bitcoin maximalist who is behind the recent ETH’s total supply controversy. The influencer who has around 88k followers on Twitter wants lawmakers to amend the Judiciary Act of 1789 to allow the U.S. Marshals Service to hold onto seized bitcoins. He argued that while the dollar is infinite, Bitcoin isn’t.

The Federal Reserve can create an infinite quantity of US dollars, the proceeds received in the auction. Bitcoins cannot be created out of thin air and there is a limited quantity of them [...] A large strategic reserve of Bitcoin may be crucial for our national security.

Rochard reinforced his stance with previous forfeiture events. Past auctions of around 144,000 bitcoin in 2014 and 2015 generated only $122 million. With Bitcoin’s current price of around $23,000, these same assets would be worth more than $3.32 billion today. Rochard said:

The expeditious auctioning off of seized Bitcoin was, in my view and with the benefit of hindsight, a mistake.

States could reap more value by holding the digital gold for the longer term, according to Rochard. His plea is coming after interest for bitcoin from institutional investors began to rise. In the last 2 months, Bitcoin has performed exceptionally well. The digital asset broke the $20,000 benchmark on Wednesday and gained an extra $3,000 within 24 hours.