Last week, German prosecutors seized $ 63 million in Bitcoin from a scammer who secretly installed mining encryption software on the computers of unsuspecting users.
While the apprehension is enormous, there is a minor setback that has proved to be what experts are calling a “legislative” exaggeration: prosecutors do not have the password to access BTC’s holdings.
A detailed Reuters report said that Bavarian landlocked state police confiscated the offender’s digital wallet containing 1,700 Bitcoin, but so far has been unable to gain access. The man – who has already served his prison sentence for more than two years – is “keeping his silence” and “does not want to give them the password”.
One of the prosecutors was of the opinion that the offender may have forgotten the password, stating that “we asked him, but he didn’t say”.
Countless attempts have been made to crack the password, but without anything definitive, perhaps the contents of the digital wallet have been lost forever.
Although the underlined news undoubtedly concerns Bitcoin obtained illegally, it is not the only recent story of “a significant stock of Bitcoin blocked by a password that has already been lost or forgotten”.
The New York Times published a similar story last month, highlighting the plight of Bitcoin millionaires who lost access to their cryptographic fortunes after forgetting their passwords.
Honorable mentions to programmer Stefan Thomas, who has only two attempts left to guess his IronKey USB password. If it fails, the $ 220 million BTC will be lost forever.