The UK government is raising funds for the coronavirus pandemic using money retrieved from dormant bank and building society accounts.
According to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, £150 million (roughly $186 million) worth of funds from the dormant assets will be seized and handed to social enterprises and individuals during the pandemic.
Under the plan, participating firms, which include HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Nationwide Building Society and Lloyds Banking Group, are handing over sums from accounts that have not been touched for 15 years.
“This includes accelerating the release of £71 million of new funds from dormant accounts alongside £79 million already unlocked that will be repurposed to help charities’ coronavirus response and recovery.”
Funds will only be taken away from accounts whose owner has not been located despite an extensive search. The British government says anyone who discovers that their funds are missing can file a report to try and reclaim their money.
Cryptocurrency advocates point out how Bitcoin (BTC) addresses this type of seizure for investors who hold and maintain their own private keys. Unlike traditional assets that are held by banking institutions working in tandem with governments to enforce asset seizures, cryptocurrency remains off limits.
Holders of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have full control of their coins. Since the private keys are not registered with third parties, government officials are unable to access and confiscate Bitcoin and similar decentralized digital assets.
Troves of Bitcoin mined in 2009 remain dormant up to this day. Last month, a Bitcoin holder moved 50 BTC currently valued at $504 million from a wallet that has been inactive for 11 years.
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