German Convict Keeps Bitcoin Wallet Password From Police

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  • German police are unable to access a Bitcoin wallet containing over 1,700 because the criminal owner won’t give them the password
  • The wallet was seized in 2018 when the man was arrested, but they have not been able to crack it
  • Unless a deal is done with the former convict, it’s likely police will never get to open the bitcoin wallet

A German criminal has stumped police by refusing to hand over the password to his seized Bitcoin wallet which contains around $60 million worth of bitcoin. Reuters reports that the unnamed convict had the wallet confiscated when he was arrested in 2018, since when he has served his time and been released, but he has consistently refused to hand over the password to the wallet, leading to an impasse.

Police Unable to Crack Bitcoin Wallet Password

Reuters says that the man had been sentenced to over two years for covertly mining bitcoin on “other computers” through installing malware on them, with police confiscating his Bitcoin wallet during his arrest. The haul, thought to be over 1,700, is now worth over $60 million, but the man has failed to supply the password to the Bitcoin wallet, leading to the police trying to crack it themselves.

All attempts have proved futile however, and the money remains unreachable. Prosecutor Sebastian Murer told Reuters that they have “asked him but he didn’t say”, adding that “perhaps he doesn’t know”.

Deal or No Deal?

Now a free man and under no obligation to tell the police anything, it is very unlikely that the former convict will come forward with the password to the Bitcoin wallet, given that he will only swell police coffers in the process.

Bitcoin wallets are notoriously hard to crack and unless the police are willing to strike a deal with the offender, it’s likely they will be sitting on a very valuable few kilobytes of data for some time to come.