Investors in bitcoin certainly can’t be stereotyped.
A man who spent the past couple of years behind bars in a German prison can be described as a convict, financial speculator and, perhaps most glaring for prosecutors: stubborn.
Police in Germany confiscated more than $64 million (in today’s prices) worth of bitcoin from the man’s possession but are not able to access the money because he won’t release the password.
The man, unidentified in a Reuters story, has now served his term and continues to stay silent.
Bitcoin is a rapidly expanding form of currency that is secured in a digital wallet. The wallet can’t be accessed without a password to decrypt and gain access.
The law enforcement officials, meanwhile, repeatedly tried to hack into the wallet containing more than 1,700 bitcoin, according to a prosecutor in Kempten, Germany.
“We asked him but he didn’t say,” prosecutor Sebastian Murer told Reuters on Friday. “Perhaps he doesn’t know.”
The man’s crime, for which he was sentenced to more than two years, was mining (producing) bitcoin via software he installed on other computers.
The explosive growth in bitcoin during those two years likely surprised the man and prosecutors alike.
Just last March, bitcoin was at only a little more than $5,000. The recent surge reached a record high of $42,000 in January. It was trading at more than $37,800 by 1 p.m. ET on Friday.
Prosecutors have made sure the man cannot access the bitcoin trove after release, Reuters said without providing any further detail, and there is no word as to the future of that digital wallet.