An Australian man, known only as “Trade Fortress”, claims he was robbed of about 4,100 bitcoins (Aus $1.1 million) last Friday.
The bitcoins belong to a number of internet users for whom the man was reportedly holding the funds. He claims that the bitcoins were stolen in two separate hacking incidents. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the theft occurred from TradeFortress’ “wallet service” through the website Inputs.io, which offered to keep bitcoins secure, on October 26. Tradefortress only told his customers this week that their bitcoins have been stolen.
TradeFortress, who has been rather careful not to reveal his identity, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that he is older than 18, but “not much”. He has denied taking the coins for himself, but has also failed to report the theft to the police, saying that bitcoin transactions are almost impossible to trace.
“The police don’t have access to any more information than any user does when it comes to bitcoins,” he told the broadcaster. “Some say it gives them control of their money.”
Bitcoins are an important part of online transactions, because it provides a succinct solution to the challenges of trading in multiple currencies over the internet. Many are sceptical, though, because the Bitcoin service is not regulated by any organisation or government.
The relatively ease with which Bitcoins can be transferred causes more concerns because the currency can be transferred directly between smartphones or any other type of computers, and regulators fear that it will be used for criminal or terrorist activities.