HomeCryptoUK news: become one of the largest Bitcoin holders

UK news: become one of the largest Bitcoin holders

According to the latest news, it has been discovered that the United Kingdom (UK) has entered the top 3 of the largest Bitcoin holders.

However, these are not public or state investments in Bitcoin, but seizures of BTC by law enforcement and the state judiciary. However, these are BTC that are usually then sold at auction, as soon as possible, so it is not just temporary control of seized assets, but actual possession. 

Latest news: The seizure in UK makes him one of the largest Bitcoin holders

The seizure that led the UK to become one of the top three countries in the world for Bitcoin holdings was discussed by the Financial Times.

FT has revealed that, during a trial against a woman accused of cryptocurrency money laundering, it emerged that the British police had seized 1.4 billion pounds in BTC resulting from investment fraud in China. 

This is one of the largest single seizures of cryptocurrencies by law enforcement ever to occur worldwide.

The seizure took place in 2021, when the British police got their hands on four devices containing a total of over 61,000 BTC stored inside a safety deposit box and in a property owned by Jian Wen and his then employer Yadi Zhang. 

Wen is accused of laundering Bitcoin on behalf of her former employer, who is a fugitive. 

The value of the seized BTC was approximately 1.4 billion pounds at the time of the seizure.

According to the prosecution’s statement in court, these BTC came from an investment fraud committed by Zhang in China between 2014 and 2017. Zhang’s real name is Zhimin Qian, and he stole about 5 billion pounds from over 128,000 investors. He later converted part of the proceeds into BTC, and moved to London in 2017.

Wen is not accused of any involvement in such fraud, but only of having helped convert part of Zhang’s Bitcoin into cash, jewelry, and other luxury items, including real estate, knowing that it was the proceeds of a crime.

The largest Bitcoin holding countries

With this seizure, the United Kingdom becomes one of the top three countries in the world in terms of the number of BTC owned. 

Among these states, there is none that has acquired Bitcoin on the market as an investment, but they are all the result of seizures. Typically in these cases, as soon as a court gives the green light, the BTC are sold at auction by the authorities, as has already happened several times in the past. 

According to the data collected from BitcoinTreasuries.NET, at this moment the country that owns the most Bitcoin would be the United States of America, with approximately 215,000 BTC. 

These are not precise or punctual data, but the result of information that often circulates in a fragmented way, and that the BitcoinTreasuries.NET editorial staff simply collects and puts together. Instead, in the case of other subjects whose public addresses are known, the data is much more precise and punctual. 

Moreover, of those 215,000 BTC that the US authorities are believed to still have in custody, a portion should be liquidated relatively soon because a court has authorized their auction.

Interestingly, in second place there would be China, with a whopping 190,000 BTC. This amount is practically the same held by MicroStrategy, although this is just a coincidence. 

The fact is that in China there is still a formal ban on exchanging Bitcoin for fiat currency, so in theory the State should not sell them to collect yuan. 

In third place, as already mentioned, there is Great Britain with 61,000 BTC. 

It is worth noting that in fourth place there is Germany, with about 50,000 BTC, a quantity not much lower than that of the UK. In fifth place, instead, there is Ukraine, with over 46,000 BTC, the result of donations from the last two years. In fact, in the case of Ukraine, knowing its public addresses, it is known with precision that the Bitcoins owned are 46,351. 

The value and impact on price

It is worth noting that the 61,000 BTC seized in 2021 by the British authorities, which were worth about 1.4 billion pounds (almost 1.8 billion dollars) at the time, would now be worth almost 3.2 billion dollars on the market, because in the meantime the price of BTC has increased. 

Instead, the 215,000 BTC owned by the USA would be worth 11.2 billion dollars. 

Any potential sale on the market could have an impact, but it would hardly be a significant impact. 

First of all, they are never sold all together, but in smaller batches.

Furthermore, the court’s authorization for the sale rarely concerns all the BTC owned by the State, because there must be a specific one for each individual seizure. 

Finally, these sales do not take place on exchanges, but in direct auctions completely outside of the exchange markets where market prices are set. 

It should be noted, however, that if the quantities sold are significant, they can indeed drain market demand from exchanges, and this would inevitably reduce buying pressure. 

However, to have a point of comparison, from January 11th until today, in just over a month, the Grayscale ETF has sold 163,000 BTC, generating only a small correction in the first few days when other ETFs were unable to absorb all the Bitcoins sold by Grayscale. 

Marco Cavicchioli
Marco Cavicchioli
Born in 1975, Marco has been the first to talk about Bitcoin on YouTube in Italy. He founded ilBitcoin.news and the Facebook group" Bitcoin Italia (open and without scam) ".