Record Bitcoin Seizure by German Police in File-Sharing Probe

German police have arrested two men who allegedly operated an illegal file-sharing platform that generated profits in Bitcoin. The platform, which was shut down in 2013, offered users access to pirated movies, music, books, and software. The operators charged users a fee to download the files, and also earned money from advertising and donations.

The police said that the platform had more than one million users and was one of the largest and most popular file-sharing sites in Germany. The operators were accused of fraud, copyright infringement, and tax evasion. They were also suspected of laundering their illicit income through cryptocurrencies.

Record Bitcoin Seizure by German Police in File Sharing Probe

Bitcoin worth $2.1 billion seized by police

As part of the investigation, the police seized nearly 50,000 Bitcoin worth about $2.1 billion from the suspects. This is the largest amount of Bitcoin ever secured by law enforcement in Germany, and one of the largest in the world. The police said that the Bitcoin was stored in a digital wallet that was protected by a password.

One of the suspects, who was arrested in 2019, cooperated with the police and revealed his password, allowing the police to access his wallet and transfer the Bitcoin to their own account. The other suspect, who was arrested in 2020, refused to disclose his password, and the police are still trying to crack his wallet, which contains about 1,800 Bitcoin worth about $77 million.

Bitcoin price surge increases value of seizure

The value of the seized Bitcoin has increased significantly since the platform was shut down in 2013, due to the surge in the price of the cryptocurrency. According to the police, the suspects had acquired the Bitcoin for a fraction of its current value, and had not sold or spent any of it. The police said that the Bitcoin was evidence in the criminal case, and that they would decide what to do with it after the trial.

The police also said that they had received assistance from the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany and the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States in the investigation. They said that the case was an example of the challenges and opportunities posed by the digitalization of crime and the use of cryptocurrencies.

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