German authorities say they confiscated a digital wallet obtained by fraudulent online activity. The wallet is believed to contain 1,700 bitcoins or $60 million in current value, but the problem is that the fraudster has refused to provide the password, posing a very difficult challenge to them.
According to the report, the owner of the wallet was convicted of installing bitcoin mining malware on peoples’ computers without permission and has served more than two years in prison for the crime.
The man maintained his silence throughout while police made repeated efforts to crack the code without success.
“We asked him but he didn’t say,” the prosecutor from the Baravarian town of Kempten told Reuters. “Perhaps he doesn’t know.”
While the government can’t access the bitcoins, officials say they have ensured the fraudster can’t access them either
The price of bitcoin has surged in recent months reaching a record high of $42,000 in January. It traded at $37,577 on Friday, according to cryptocurrency and blockchain website Coindesk.
Bitcoin is stored on software called digital wallet and is encrypted. There is no way to unlock it without knowing the password. If a user forgets his password, the bitcoin is gone.
Last month, a California man who couldn’t figure out his password to access his $240 million worth of bitcoin said he’s “made peace” with the loss, believing he will never gain access to his wealth. He tried 8 of the maximum of 10 passwords allowed, without success. Read the story here