Following the latest reports of another Bitcoin-related crime over the weekend; we look back at other incidents that have happened in 2018.
Is This The Start Of A Bitcoin Crime Wave?
A Taiwanese newspaper has stated that a local Bitcoin miner has been shot in Taiwan. The miner was wounded by two gangsters with whom he was meeting to discuss their large 10 million Chinese Yuan ($1.7 million) investment.
The news comes as Bitcoin trading in Mainland China is more strictly regulated, which was reportedly the reason behind the shooting. With China instilling stricter rules around Bitcoin trading, Bitcoin miners in this part of the world are being left to deal with the consequences. In this particular case, Bitcoin trading resulted in over $370,000 worth of profit but the tightened regulations by the Chinese government meant that the profit could not be given to the gangsters in fiat currency in the time frame requested. A heated exchange then led to the shooting of the Bitcoin miner. Although at the time, the gangsters left the injured Bitcoin trader and fled, they did hand themselves into local police a few hours later. The Bitcoin trader was shot in the ankle and is therefore not critically injured.
This is not the first time that there has been criminal activities in Taiwan based around Bitcoin operations. However, it is the first instance where it has been identified as an organized crime.
Other Instances Of Worldwide Bitcoin Crime
The very first cases of Bitcoin-related crime occurred in January 2018 in Canada and the UK. On both occasions, Bitcoin investors were held at gunpoint by a team of thieves.
The British case involved four armed robbers breaking into the Oxfordshire home of a crypto trader. His family were tied up and he was made to transfer a large but undisclosed amount of Bitcoins. The transfer was completed successfully with the robbers using handguns to force the trader into action.
In Canada, the circumstances were similar with three armed gunmen entering a Bitcoin exchange office in Ottawa, Ontario. Although one employee received minor injuries, from a smack to the head with a handgun, the thieves left empty-handed. A colleague in an adjoining office informed the police of the robbery and the gunmen left soon after.
The most recent reporting of Bitcoin crime was in Singapore in early April. Two Bitcoin brokers were attacked on this occasion and lost almost $300,000 in cash when they were assaulted and robbed. They were meeting with a prospective seller at the time who has subsequently been arrested and is facing extensive prison time as well as a possible caning.
Since these first known criminal activities at the beginning of the year, there have also been two kidnappings in New York and Ukraine as well as several other robberies. With Cryptocurrencies continuing to do well on the markets and large profits increasingly being made around the world through trading, it is expected that such crimes will continue to occur globally. Sadly it is the nature of the beast.