FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German prosecutors have confiscated greater than 50 million euros ($60 million) value of bitcoin from a fraudster. There’s just one drawback: they will’t unlock the cash as a result of he received’t give them the password.
The person was sentenced to jail and has since served his time period, sustaining his silence all through whereas police made repeated failed efforts to crack the code to entry greater than 1,700 bitcoin, stated a prosecutor within the Bavarian city of Kempten.
“We requested him however he didn’t say,” prosecutor Sebastian Murer instructed Reuters on Friday. “Maybe he doesn’t know.”
Bitcoin is saved on software program referred to as a digital pockets that’s secured via encryption. A password is used as a decryption key to open the pockets and entry the bitcoin. When a password is misplaced the consumer can not open the pockets.
The fraudster had been sentenced to greater than two years in jail for covertly putting in software program on different computer systems to harness their energy to “mine” or produce bitcoin.
When he went behind bars, his bitcoin stash would have been value a fraction of the present worth. The value of bitcoin has surged over the previous yr, hitting a document excessive of $42,000 in January. It was buying and selling at $37,577 on Friday, in response to cryptocurrency and blockchain web site Coindesk.
Prosecutors have ensured the person can not entry the largesse, nevertheless.
($1 = 0.8349 euros)
Reporting by John O’Donnell; Extra reporting by Anna Irrera in London; Enhancing by Pravin Char