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Man refuses to share $103m Bitcoin password with police

Lucy Dean
·1-min read
Bitcoin Symbol in a digital raster microstructure - 3d illustration
Bitcoin Symbol in a digital raster microstructure - 3d illustration

German police have confiscated around $103 million worth of Bitcoin from a man, but are unable to access the crypto stash as he refuses to share the password.

The fraudster has been sentenced to jail and has served his term, but continues to refuse to share the password to access the 1,700 Bitcoin, leaving police stumped.

The man had been given two years jail for secretly installing software on other computers to access their power to mine Bitcoin. Bitcoin mining is an energy intensive process that is generally impossible for a standard computer.

“We asked him [about the password] but he didn’t say,” prosecutor Sebastian Murer told Reuters.

“Perhaps he doesn’t know.”

The price of a single Bitcoin hit a record high on Monday after Tesla announced it had purchased AU$1.95 billion worth of the cryptocurrency, and would also accept it as legal tender from customers.

The announcement triggered a 14 per cent increase, with market watchers describing it as a move that would further legitimise the currency.

Password woes

This is far from the first time Bitcoin’s security protocols have caused a headache.

An English man has been left frustrated after his local council refused to help him search a tip for a hard drive containing 7,500 Bitcoins, despite an offer of $95 million payment.

The man had put the cryptocurrency on the hard drive before mistakenly throwing it out in 2013.

And another man in San Francisco has only two password attempts left, before his Bitcoin wallet will close up entirely - trapping away 7,002 Bitcoins.

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