Notably, CoinCenter’s Jerry Brito highlights a section of the DoJ report which ostensibly claims they hold “AEC” (Anonymity Enhanced Cryptocurrencies) to not let them “re-enter the stream of commerce for potential future criminal use”:
I agree with Brito this is a really odd rationalization. By most ways of understanding cryptocurrency value, there’s no way such withholding could create an effective scarcity of units - the existing stocks (& flow from mining) can expand in value to support any need.
And if their “internal utility function” tells them, “at the margin, we get more than $X of future crime-prevention by warehousing this $X of cryptocurrency than by using it for $X of other crime-fighting activities”, then the next logically-self-consistent step from investment theory would be to start buying more of those tokens, on the market, until the price rises to exactly match the expected value of purchased “removed-from-the-stream” crime-prevention. I think there might be some holes in that strategy, but perhaps they should try it, just in case.