U.S. government sends 3,940 Bitcoin to Coinbase exchange

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Data from Arkham Intelligence indicates the Bitcoin was seized from Banmeet Singh, a convicted drug dealer, during his January 2024 trial.

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U.S. government sends 3,940 Bitcoin to Coinbase exchange

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The United States government sent 3,940 Bitcoin to a Coinbase Prime wallet on June 26, 2024, on-chain data from Arkham Intelligence revealed.

According to Arkham Intelligence, the transaction took place at 17:00:41 UTC and involved Bitcoin (BTC) seized from convicted drug trafficker Banmeet Singh earlier this year.

The transaction data from the 3,940 Bitcoin transfer to Coinbase. Source: Arkham Intelligence.

The case of Banmeet Singh

In 2019 Singh was arrested by British authorities in London on drug distribution charges and eventually extradited to the United States in 2023.

The United States Department of Justice claimed that from 2012 to 2017 Singh ran a narcotics smuggling network that included distributors in Maryland, New York, North Dakota, Washington state, Ohio, North Carolina and Florida.

Related: 4-week correction for Bitcoin? Mt. Gox, Germany gov’t add sell-pressure.

As part of the judgment against him, Singh was forced to surrender more than 8,100 Bitcoin to U.S. authorities, valued at around $150 million at the time, in what the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) characterized as the largest cryptocurrency seizure ever performed by the three-letter agency.

Singh was also sentenced to 5 years in prison in April 2024 but was given credit for time served and has reportedly been released by U.S. authorities. According to The Columbus Dispatch, Singh made plans to return to his native home of India directly following his release.

Widespread fears of government sell-off 

Fears of government sell-offs impacting the Bitcoin market have gripped market participants in recent weeks after reports that the German government was unloading its Bitcoin, worth roughly $2.76 billion at the time of this writing.

The most recent of these transactions occurred on June 26, 2024, at 09:27:57 UTC, and featured an output of 345 Bitcoin sent to a wallet labeled “Flow Traders.”

The United States government also holds large quantities of Bitcoin acquired through seizures and asset forfeiture. Data from Arkham shows that the U.S. government currently owns roughly 214,000 Bitcoin valued at $13 billion at the time of this writing, making the U.S. government the largest state holder of the decentralized currency in the Arkham Intel database.

Selling pressure from the Mt. Gox bankruptcy estate has also stoked investor fears of a Bitcoin price decline, as the former exchange begins the process of unloading 140,000 Bitcoin to reimburse injured parties of the infamous 2014 Mt. Gox collapse. However, exchange balances are at 6-year lows, acting as a price-stabilizing counterbalance to these selling pressures.

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