Britain joins the ranks of the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, Turkey, and a handful of other countries that make up an unfortunate fraternity whose only membership requirement is playing host to real-world cryptocurrency heists.
This is why crypto can’t have nice things. In the nine years since Bitcoin’s birth, we’ve seen an increasing number of cyber attacks – hackers targeting exchanges, ICO wallets, and crypto services. In fact, hackers have managed to steal more than 980,000 bitcoins – $11.5 billion at current market value – from exchanges alone.
Real-world heists, like the one that happened in Britain last week, are different. They’re more visceral somehow, maybe because they involve real flesh-and-blood people and not just numbers on a screen.
Victims of Britain's first Bitcoin heist are hiding at secret address after masked men held crypto-currency trader at gunpoint: https://t.co/G4GA6skzhJ
— Dennis Gray (@tlctrust) January 29, 2018
Bitcoin Heist in Britain: What We Know So Far
Last Monday, in the tiny village of Moulsford, Oxfordshire, four masked gunmen broke into the home of 30-year-old Danny Aston and his partner, Amy Jay. Aston and Jay are co-owners of Aston Digital Currencies Ltd, a digital currency exchange which the couple operated from their home.
The break-in happened at around 9am local time – a ballsy move considering that it was at the peak of the morning school run. After kicking in the door and holding the couple at gunpoint, the assailants tied up Ms. Jay and set their baby outside in a pram. That’s when they forced Aston to transfer an unspecified number of bitcoins to the assailants’ own wallet. The exact amount of bitcoin stolen is unknown at this point, but it has been referred to by several media outlets as ‘a fortune’.
If there is any upside to this incident, it is that nobody was physically hurt during the ordeal. Also, since the attack occurred during broad daylight, there were several witnesses. One witness, in particular, told Mirror Online:
I saw four young men in black tracksuits with the hoods pulled up, crossing the road. […] They were aged 18 to 25, dark-skinned and super-fit. They jumped over the fence.
Since the incident, Aston, along with Jay and the baby, have gone to stay with relatives at an undisclosed location. The investigation is still ongoing and the police are asking that anyone with information related to the theft please call Thames Valley Police on the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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