The U.S. Marshals Service, a primary law enforcement agency of the Department of Justice (DOJ), has hired a new custodian for its seized cryptocurrencies. The agency has seized and auctioned off over 185K bitcoins so far.
The United States Marshals Service (USMS) has selected Anchorage Digital to provide custody for cryptocurrencies seized in criminal cases, the crypto custody firm announced Wednesday.
The USMS is one of the primary law enforcement agencies of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). It was also the first federal law enforcement agency in the country. Anchorage explained:
This award means that Anchorage will be responsible for providing a full suite of cryptocurrency services.
The services include “custody, liquidation, and such activities as accounting, customer management, audit compliance, managing blockchain forks, wallet creation, transformation of token assets into coin assets, etc., as well as future actions associated with the virtual currency forfeiture process,” the company detailed.
Prior to hiring Anchorage, the USMS awarded the crypto custody contract to Bitgo in April, after spending more than a year seeking a custodian and financial services provider for its stockpile of seized crypto assets. Bitgo was acquired by Galaxy Digital in May. It is not clear why the DOJ decided to use Anchorage instead of Bitgo to custody seized cryptocurrencies.
According to CNBC, the Marshals Service has confiscated and sold more than 185,000 bitcoins worth more than $7.2 billion since about 2014. Venture capitalist Tim Draper won the USMS auction of 30,000 confiscated bitcoins from the now-defunct Silk Road in 2014.
The Marshals Service’s most recent bitcoin auction was in February last year when more than 4,041 BTC were auctioned.