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According to Reuters, German prosecutors confiscated over 50 million euros (USD 60 million) worth of bitcoin from a man.

But authorities are unable to get to the money because he won’t give up the password.

The unidentified man has since served his prison term and withheld his password from authorities while doing so. Authorities repeatedly failed to gain access into the account with over 1,700 bitcoin, a prosecutor in the Bavarian town of Kempten reported.

“We asked him but he didn’t say,” prosecutor Sebastian Murer told Reuters on Friday. “Perhaps he doesn’t know.”

Bitcoin is stored on a digital wallet software that is protected by encryption. A password is used as a decryption key to gain access into the wallet and to the bitcoin. If the password is lost or forgotten, a user can no longer gain access.

The man was convicted and sentenced to over two years in jail for covertly installing software on computers to harness their power to “mine” or produce bitcoin.

When the fraudster was first sentenced, his bitcoin amount was worth a fraction of what it is now—the price of bitcoin has skyrocketed over the past year. In January, it hit a record high of $42,000. It traded at $37,577, Coindesk, a cryptocurrency, and blockchain website, reported on Friday.

Prosecutors say the man can no longer access the bitcoin.




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‘Impossible to trace.’ Tech savvy dad may be holding daughter captive in WA, cops say

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A father accused of kidnapping his teenage daughter 17 months ago could be holding her captive in Washington, but his technology skills are making it hard for authorities to find him, officials say.

Authorities say John Oliver Westbrook kidnapped his daughter, Daphne Westbrook, 17, in October 2019 from Chattanooga, Tennessee, according to a news release posted on Facebook by the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office in Tennessee.

Investigators say Westbrook is holding Daphne against her will and they’re struggling to locate them because he is “an IT expert specializing in security, block chain technology and bitcoin.”

Brooke WolfordFri, March 5, 2021, 5:41 AM