Four masked men are reported to have broken into the home of cryptocurrency traders living in Moulsford, Oxfordshire, forcing them at gunpoint to transfer all of their cryptocurrency holding to their wallets. According to the local media, this is the first Bitcoin Heist in the UK.
The incident, which occurred on Jan 22nd, involved Danny Aston – a well-known cryptocurrency trader – and Amy Jay, his girlfriend. The four men wearing balaclavas are believed to have kicked down a door, gaining entrance into the house. They then took the couple’s infant outside as they forced them to make the cryptocurrency transfer. However, it’s not clearly known just how many bitcoins were stolen or their corresponding value.
Aston Had Reportedly Made Over 100,000 Trades
Aston is not new into the cryptocurrency space; he has reportedly conducted in excess of 100,000 trades under “Goldiath”, a pseudonym. The couple also jointly own a company called Aston Digital currencies, which they operate out of the residence.
The robbery incidence appeared to have been well-planned and conducted swiftly, as no major injuries were reported.
“No one was seriously injured during the incident,” a publication cites a police spokesperson from Thames Valley Police as saying.
No arrests have been made so far, at the time of writing. The police believe that the couple were targeted deliberately because of their dealings in cryptocurrencies.
According to a report published on the Mail on Sunday, crimes that involve firearms are not very common, especially outside of the London Metropolitan region. Most of those that do occur are often linked to organized crime.
In general however, the theft is the latest in a trend of assaults that target people associated with cryptocurrencies. In December, Louis Meza, a New York resident, allegedly kidnapped a person believed to be a crypto investor, stealing about $1.8 million worth of Ethereum. Later that same month, another incidence occurred in Ukraine, where an Executive working at EXMO exchange was kidnapped and released after a $1 million ransom was paid.
Another incident in Ottawa barely a week ago saw three armed robbers enter Canadian Bitcoins, a cryptocurrency exchange, forcing employees to make cryptocurrency transfers to them. However, the robbers could not complete the robbery, because the police responded in time, after one of the employees managed to contact them.
Are digital currencies providing criminals with new avenues to steal cryptocurrencies? Do you think that incidences of kidnapping could escalate because of the anonymity offered by digital currencies? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.