The Chinese government has arrested three suspects for allegedly hacking into computers and stealing $87 million worth of digital currency. According to Huashang News, Xian officers are calling it the highest-value cryptocurrency case in the country’s history.

Investigations started in March 2018, when someone from the city brought a complaint to the police that his computer was hacked. According to the complainant, 100 million yuan in Bitcoin and Ethereum had been stolen. In a bid to find the hackers, the police analyzed 30,000 pieces of information and sought help from domestic internet companies. Through these methods, the first suspect, Zhou, from Hunan province, was identified.

The last two suspects, Cui in Beijing and Zhang in Jilin province, were identified two months later. The three suspects were watched round the clock before being detained through coordinated raids on August 15. According to the police, these suspects were experienced hackers. They had studied hacking technology since they were ages 12 and 13 and had worked at top internet firms.

Once they had acquired the stolen cryptos, the hackers then sold the stolen digital currency and split the income. They then carried out multiple transactions in an effort to cover their tracks.

“Our bureau has not dealt with this kind of case before. It’s the first virtual currency-related case in Shaanxi,” said one police officer.

China’s Cryptocurrency Crackdown

The heist will most likely lend further credence—at least in the eyes of the Chinese government—to negative attitudes toward digital currencies in the country. Since late 2017, the government has been on a warpath within the industry, beginning with a ban on ICOs and cryptocurrency exchange platforms.

In the aftermath of that sweeping decision, state officials have made efforts to plug any loopholes in its total clampdown on cryptocurrency trading. Access to both foreign and domestic brokers has been almost entirely eradicated. By the start of 2018, there were reports that miners would be the next target in the Chinese cryptocurrency purge.

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