Police in Germany seized over 50 million euros in Bitcoin from a fraud. However, the prosecutors cannot access the money since the man does not share the wallet password, Reuters reports. According to the source, the man secretly installed software for mining Bitcoin on computers of unsuspecting people.
Reuters writes that the man had received a sentence of two years in jail. His term is now over, yet the police made sure he cannot access seized Bitcoin funds. The encrypted wallet holds more than 1,700 BTC.
It might be the case that the scammer does not know the password himself. Last month, The New York Times wrote about Bitcoin hodlers being unable to access their accounts while cryptocurrency price was increasing. The reason for that was lost or forgotten passwords, as many hodlers invested in Bitcoin years ago when its price was not even close to being what it is now.
As explained in Slate, it is not possible to restore access to an encrypted wallet without a password because of the decentralized nature of blockchain and encryption of transactions. However, a company Wallet Recovery Services has helped clients recover their passwords with about 35% success rate since 2013. Their software applies millions of password variations based on the client’s possible password to unlock the wallet.