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Fraudster Refuses To Give Police Password To Bitcoin Wallet Worth $60 Million

by : Emily Brown on : 06 Feb 2021 16:42
Fraudster Refuses To Give Police Password To Bitcoin Wallet Worth $60 MillionPA

German prosecutors have been left unable to access more than €50 million ($60 million) worth of bitcoin because the fraudster they confiscated it from refuses to give up the password. 

The unnamed man was arrested and sentenced to two years in prison for covertly installing software on other computers in order to harness their power to mine bitcoin.

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He has since served his sentence, and in the meantime his bitcoin stash increased its worth massively, with the price of the currency hitting a record high of $42,000 in January.

BitcoinPA Images

Yesterday, February 5, the cryptocurrency and blockchain website Coindesk reported that it was trading at $37,577, and Reuters reports that the confiscated collection is now worth more than €50 million, or $60 million.

According to a prosecutor in the Bavarian town of Kempten, police made numerous efforts to crack the code that would allow them to access more than 1,700 bitcoin, but none of their attempts proved successful. All the while, the fraudster has refused to reveal the password.

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Speaking to Reuters, prosecutor Sebastian Murer said: ‘We asked him but he didn’t say. Perhaps he doesn’t know.’

Bitcoin is stored on a type of software known as a digital wallet, which is protected through encryption. The only way to access the bitcoin is by using the password as a decryption key to open the wallet, meaning when a password is lost or kept secret the user cannot open the wallet.

BitcoinPA

The importance of a bitcoin password was exemplified recently when a San Francisco man, who has $236 million in bitcoin, revealed he has just two password guesses left before his stash becomes encrypted forever.

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Stefan Thomas, a programmer from Germany, wrote the password on a piece of paper but unfortunately failed to take good care of the important document.

Though the previously jailed fraudster seemingly refuses to give up his secret, prosecutors have ensured the man cannot access his stash.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Life, Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, fraud, Germany

Credits

Reuters
  1. Reuters

    Police seize $60 million of bitcoin! Now, where's the password?