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Police foil German bitcoin fraud

Two hackers have been arrested accused of creating a fake £580,000 cache of the bitcoin internet currency in Germany.

Police said they used the processing power of linked hacked computers to generate the bitcoins, a cryptography-based digital currency. They also are investigating further suspected fraud, violations of copyright law and offences related to the distribution of pornography.

The Federal Criminal Police Office said the investigation began into three people suspected of spreading a virus over the internet, creating a remotely controlled network of compromised computer systems.

Bitcoins are a digital currency, created and maintained entirely by the internet. Computers do the work of generating new coins, but the system was designed with

built-in limits and there will only ever be 21 million coins issued, over 11 million of which are already accounted for.

Their origins are shrouded in mystery. They began as a white paper published by someone called Satoshi Nakamoto, who has since ''moved on'' from the project and whose true identity remains a mystery.

-AP

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