The German authorities have seized a Bitcoin wallet with 1,700 BTC valued at around USD 60 million at the current price. However, the wallet owner refuses to cooperate in revealing the password.
The seizure came after an investigation into covert crypto-malware installations over two years ago. The cheater at the heart of the storm has since served his sentence. But he remains silent on this matter.
Public prosecutor Sebastian Murer noted that the fraudster may have lost the password. In either case, the authorities have no way of accessing the Bitcoin funds.
“Maybe he doesn’t know. We asked him, but he didn’t say it.”
Bitcoin trading for much less than two years
In 2019, when the man was convicted of fraud, Bitcoin was valued much less than it is today. Throughout the year, the price of BTC ranged from $ 3.5,000 to $ 13.6,000.
Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com
But since the third quarter of 2020, a parabolic surge has led to a massive price hike for the number one cryptocurrency. The deceiver’s illicit gains turn from a small fortune into a king’s ransom.
Now that the convicted fraudster is a free man, authorities have made sure that he cannot access the Bitcoin funds. However, details of how this will be enforced will not be disclosed.
There are many types of cryptocurrency wallets, including hot and cold wallets, and a variety of providers.
Technically, Bitcoin is not stored in a wallet. Instead, the wallet corresponds to a private key that contains address transaction information on the blockchain and access to the funds.
Typically, users can recover a modern wallet using a 12-word passphrase, which in turn can be accessed with a password. Security-conscious users have the option of remembering both the passphrase and the password. Private keys can also be stored outside of a wallet provider’s system.
However, tragedy can occur in cases where the user loses or forgets an item.
Former Ripple CTO loses passwords on 7k BTC wallet
Former CTO at Ripple Stefan Thomas made headlines a few weeks ago after it was discovered he had lost the password for his wallet containing 7,002 Bitcoin.
To make matters worse, Thomas had his private key saved on an IronKey self-destructing USB drive. This device will erase the contents of the drive after ten failed password attempts. He has already tried to guess the password eight times.
Thomas had written the password on a piece of paper and then lost the paper.
Despite defying the situation, the effect on his mental well-being has been detrimental. The incident has sullied his feelings about cryptocurrency. In particular, he feels bitter about the tagline promising the freedom to be your own bank.
“This whole idea of being your own bank – let me put it this way, do you make your own shoes?” he said. “The reason we have banks is because we don’t want to deal with all of the things banks do.”
In many ways, the German authorities’ failure to crack the security of the Bitcoin wallet gives credibility to the room.
However, you should be aware that once the malware scammer has their wallet information, there is nothing they can do to prevent them from accessing the funds.