Pair said to have illegally minted $1M worth of Bitcoins

After allegedly infecting computers with malware to mine Bitcoins, two people are arrested by German police.

CNET

One of regulators' biggest worries about virtual currencies, like Bitcoin, is whether they may be susceptible to fraud or manipulation. Well, two people in Germany apparently just proved this was possible.

The pair is accused of illegally generating nearly $1 million worth of Bitcoins, according to the Associated Press. German police nabbed the two people during a computer fraud investigation earlier this week. No further details on the arrests were available.

The authorities' investigation centered around the belief that the suspects were disseminating malware on the Internet to create a network of hacked computers they could control remotely. According to the Associated Press, the alleged perpetrators then used these computers to generate Bitcoins.

This isn't the first time someone has been accused of illegally generating Bitcoins. Last month, online video game company E-Sports Entertainment agreed to pay a settlement fee of $1 million after being accused of infecting thousands of customers' computers to illegally mine Bitcoins.

Despite these arrests and regulators' worries, Bitcoin is steadily growing in popularity. Not only is the virtual currency trading at an all-time high -- hitting the $1,000 mark on the Mt. Gox exchange last week -- but it's also being used by more and more retailers . Earlier on Wednesday, a small town in Kentucky even said it would pay its police chief in Bitcoin .

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About the author

Dara Kerr is a staff writer for CNET focused on the sharing economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado where she developed an affinity for collecting fool's gold and spirit animals.

 

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