Austrian police say cyber-thieves transferred bitcoin worth more than €100,000 (£89,000, $117,000) from a man's account while he was logged in on a restaurant's public WiFi network.

A police statement Wednesday (22 November) said the bitcoins were moved at around 11.30am to an "unknown, non-traceable account" after the unidentified 36-year old logged in south east of the city of Innsbruck on Tuesday to check the value of his digital currency.

A summary of the incident added that it remained unclear if the victim's account was already hacked before he logged on to the unsecured network.

The police statement read: "An unknown perpetrator probably got [access] through a fake network, accessing the man's laptop, and transferring all the bitcoins to an unknown, non-traceable account. The 36-year-old suffered damage in the lower six-digit euro range."

Bitcoin is a form of digital currency based upon the blockchain – or distributed ledger technology (DLT).

It is mined using computing power and has spiked in value over the past year. Cryptocurrency, which comes in many forms, is frequently the target of hackers and cybercriminals.

Nevertheless, Austria has started to embrace the financial technology.

In July, it emerged Austrian Post had teamed up with a cryptocurrency exchangeBitpanda – to give customers easy access to digital cash at more than 1,800 branches across the country.

Yet amid rising concerns from traditional financial institutions, many of which are concerned about the unpredictable nature of bitcoin, some nations are moving to ban the currency altogether.

Last week, Bank of Austria governor Ewald Nowotny told a financial conference in Florence: "We're asking ourselves if legislators or central banks should intervene, as happened in China where they banned [the use of cryptocurrencies] because they consider them fraudulent."

In mid-September, a number of large bitcoin and cryptocurrency changes in China – BTC China, Huobi and OKCoin – shut down amid mounting pressure from Beijing authorities.

And earlier this week, a cryptocurrency startup called Tether confirmed that it had suffered a major hacking attack – with more than $30m being stolen by cybercriminals on 19 November.