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German Authorities Can’t Access Bitcoins Worth $65 Million ‘Seized’ From Hacker

German authorities have been unable to gain access to more than 1,700 bitcoins belonging to a convicted hacker, who kept silent about how to access his crypto stash while serving his prison sentence.

German prosecutors in the Bavarian town of Kempten said Friday that they have been unable to gain access to more than 1,700 bitcoins they said were seized from a hacker.

The hacker, who was 29 years old at the time, was convicted in April 2014 of computer fraud, among other charges. He covertly installed software on other people’s computers to mine bitcoin, which he kept for himself. He was sentenced to more than two years in jail.

The authorities “seized” more than 1,800 BTC belonging to him at the time and were able to sell 86 bitcoins from the stash in 2018, according to local media. The sale brought in about 500,000 euros ($602,452). A spokesperson for the Kempten district court said the rest of the bitcoins were protected by multiple passwords and IT specialists assigned to the case have been unable to crack them.

The hacker did not hand over the passwords to the authorities, maintaining silence while serving his prison sentence. “We asked him but he didn’t say. Perhaps he doesn’t know,” Sebastian Murer, a prosecutor, told Reuters on Friday.

At the current price of bitcoin, the hacker’s BTC stash is worth more than $65 million, a massive growth from what it would have been in 2014 when the hacker was convicted. Without elaborating further, Murer said that the police had secured the bitcoin wallet so the hacker will not be able to gain access to the cryptocurrency.

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