Information Rights Unit
1 Horse Guards Road
020 7270 5000
26 May 2021
Dear Conrad Quilty-Harper
Freedom of Information Act 2000
Thank you for your enquiry of 4 May 2021, which we have considered under the terms of
the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the FOI Act).
You asked for the following information:
“I would like to know if the department has ever experimented with
Has the department ever purchased equipment to mine cryptocurrency? If so, what
equipment, when and how much was spent? Which cryptocurrency was mined?
What is the value of it now?
Has the department ever purchased cryptocurrency? That could include Bitcoin,
Ethereum, Dogecoin, or any other type of cryptocurrency.
Does the department currently control any cryptocurrency in digital wallets? If so,
what is the type and value in GBP of the cryptocurrency? How was it obtained? If it
was purchased on an exchange, which one was used and for what value?”
HM Treasury can disclose that it has not bought or held any digital assets, including
Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin or any other type of cryptocurrency, in the UK Government
official reserves. Similarly, HM Treasury has made no attempt to mine cryptocurrency or
purchased equipment to do so. The gross official reserves, held in the Exchange
Equalisation Account, are comprised of foreign currency assets (cash, bonds and notes),
gold assets and net positions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Special Drawing
Under the EEA Act 1979, the EEA may invest in cash or securities denominated in the
foreign currencies represented in the IMF SDR basket. For further details regarding the
assets held in the EEA, please see the Management of the Official Reserves document:
If you have any queries about this letter, please contact us. Please quote the reference
number above in any future communications.
Information Rights Unit
Most documents HM Treasury supplies in response to a Freedom of Information request,
including this letter, continue to be protected by Crown copyright. This is because they will
have been produced by Government officials as part of their work. You are free to use
these documents for your information, for any non-commercial research you may be doing
and for news reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication, will require
the permission of the copyright holder. Crown copyright is managed by The National
Archives and you can find details on the arrangements for re-using Crown copyright
material at: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/information-management/re-using-public-
Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
If you are not happy with this reply, you can request a review by writing to HM Treasury,
Information Rights Unit, 1 Horse Guards Road, London SW1A 2HQ or by emailing us at the
address below. Any review request must be made within 40 working days of the date of
It would assist our review if you set out which aspects of the reply concern you and why
you are dissatisfied.
If you are not content with the outcome of the review, you may apply directly to the
Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the Commissioner will not make a
decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by HM Treasury
which is outlined above.
The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s
Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF (or via their website at: