The German police are now holding the hacker’s wallet, however, they have no way to access the BTC inside it.
German prosecutors have allegedly “seized” over 1,700 Bitcoin from a hacker who installed mining software on the computers of unsuspecting users. But there is a catch: they don’t have the password to access the BTC holdings.
According to a report, police from the Bavarian town of Kempten have confiscated the wallet from the offender and prosecutors have “ensured the man cannot access the largesse.” But the man could not provide a password.
Reports suggest that the man is “maintaining his silence” and that he “won’t give them the password,” however, prosecutor Sebastian Murer stated that the man may not even know the password anymore.
The 1,700+ BTC would be worth at least $63.8 million as of this time, and the value has increased remarkably since the scammer got the cryptocurrency through the mining scheme. Police tried to crack the password, but without it, they will be unable to access the funds stored in the wallet.
While this specific story concerned illegally-obtained Bitcoin, it’s not the only recent tale of a notable stash of Bitcoin locked behind a password that has since been lost or forgotten.
Last month, Bitcoin millionaires who have lost access to their fortunes, like Stefan Thomas, who has $220 million worth of BTC stashed in a wallet as of now. Thomas had only two remaining tries (out of 10) to guess the password to his IronKey encrypted flash drive before he lost access forever.
Glassnode, a crypto data firm, estimates that 3 million Bitcoin – or 1/7 of the total supply of BTC that will be available – has been lost forever.
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