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Bitcoin burglar bags a million bucks

Australian victim says there's no point telling the cops

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An Australia developer who goes by the name of “Trade Fortress” alleges a million dollars worth of Bitcoin has been stolen from his virtual wallet.

Trade Fortress made the allegation to ABC Radio, which reports he's “over 18 but not much over” and doesn't know the whereabouts of the 4100 bitcoin. With Bitcoin exchanges currently offering $US290 or more per coin, that's $US1,189,000 ($AUD1.25m or £738,000).

Trade Fortress has since told Fairfax Media the server at inputs.io, a Bitcoin depository, was breached. That site now offers only a "sorry" notice advising depositors their Bitcoin are gone.

Beyond greed, Bitcoin forums offer other motives for the heist. Posters to this thread and this thread, too accuse an entity called Trade Fortress of failing to deliver agreed-upon development work to their satisfaction and failing to provide refunds. The same forums' profile for Trade Fortress offers coinlenders.com as the user's website. The site offers to loan Bitcoins but charges one per cent of the loan per day for overdue payments. The site's WhoIs information has been anonymised.

The Reg has no idea if the Trade Fortress complained about in the threads we've linked to and the person who spoke to ABC Radio and Fairfax are one and the same and does not suggest they are. But if the same person is behind the name, it's not hard to see why they may have been targeted: usurous money-lenders who don't perform well on contracting jobs or offer refunds aren't the most popular people on the planet!

Trade Fortress denies he pinched the coins himself and says he doesn't see the point in telling Australia's authorities about the heist as he feels Bitcoin's anonymity provisions mean it will be impossible to track the culprit. ®

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