ROUGHLY €50 million worth of Bitcoin will remain inaccessible forever after German police froze the virtual wallet of a convicted fraudster who refused to surrender his password.
A cryptocurrency wallet containing 1700 high-value Bitcoins will remain inaccessible forever after a convicted fraudster refused to tell prosecutors his password, forcing them to freeze the massive digital stash.
Bitcoins value is known to fluctuate and hit a record high of €35,000 euro per “coin” in Januaray – leading to estimates that the German fraudster’s wallet is worth about €50 million euro. He served two years in prison for hacking into several computers to install “mining” operations from which he extracted Bitcoin.
Upon his release, police in the southern state of Bavaria pressured him for his password but the fraudster refused. Bitcoin wallets, which contain virtual “coins”, are all password protected and can be locked forever if too many false attempts are made to open them.
When the fraudster continued to refuse to reveal the password, authorities took the decision to lock the wallet. Prosecutors in Bavaria believe it’s possible the man had forgotten the password himself – in any case neither he nor anyone else will ever gain access to the fortunes inside.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have become the preferred currency of cybercriminals due to their soaring value and lack of traceability.
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