Robbers are After Bitcoin: Crypto is the New Gold

By  //  March 24, 2022

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Trend watcher Vincent Everts was robbed at his house in Amsterdam yesterday while he was in the middle of a live stream. The armed robbers demanded his bitcoin. So why are cryptocurrencies attracted to criminals, and how do you arm yourself against them?

Three boys threatened Everts with a gun. His children were also there. “I got mad; I got so angry.’ F you, I said.” But, according to the trend watcher, the gun the robbers threatened was not a real one. “I told them to get out of my house or shoot me. Then they ran.” 

Bitcoin Loot

So the robbers were after Everts’ bitcoin. He calls it “very stupid” to steal that. “You can’t just pick it up and take it with you. So I protected myself well,” he says.

“If I want to use my bitcoin, I have to wait 24 hours, and it can be canceled. So even if you have the code: you still have to wait. You should have sufficient knowledge about it, and I don’t think those guys had that.” If you have invested in Bitcoin you must know Bitcoin price fluctuations.

Anonymity

Still, stealing or trading crypto seems attractive to criminals, notes criminal lawyer Anis Boumanjal. “Because the identity remains in the background, such a crypto wallet is not identity-bound but code-bound,” he tells EditieNL. “There is no bank behind it that can have a different controlling role.”According to Boumanjal, crime is not surprising to shift to the crypto world. “Crypto will soon be the new gold.”

Take in custody

Crypto is relatively anonymous also makes it attractive for criminals to prey on it. “If someone steals a Rolex, it is easier to trace and to investigate back to the perpetrator. If the police find the watch with you, then you have something to explain.”

The assets are usually seized and taken away when arrested and prosecuted. But with crypto, this is almost impossible to do. “Because it’s so anonymous, the wealth is somewhere in the ‘air’, and you don’t know who it belongs to.”

Protection

And arming yourself as a bitcoin owner against theft is almost impossible. “There is no emergency button so that the wallet is empty at once. And yes, you can choose to store the code of your wallet somewhere in a safe, but that seems a bit cumbersome to me.”

How do you arm yourself against crypto heists?

If you want to protect yourself against robberies, you can do many things about this as a crypto owner. For example, do not rely on the giant clock with (many) crypto coins. Also, don’t store access to crypto coins at home, for example, with another party such as a bitcoin bank.

Two South African brothers behind a cryptocurrency trading platform are missing, as are 69,000 bitcoins. Bloomberg reports that. According to the current exchange rate, of more than 29,000 euros, the value of the coins is a total of slightly above 2 billion euros. So if there is a robbery, it is one of the greatest in crypto of all time.

Two brothers named Ameer and Raees Cajee set up the platform Africrypt, on which investors could trade in cryptocurrencies. In April, the brothers told investors that the platform had been hacked. Cryptocurrencies were allegedly stolen. They told investors not to call the police or lawyers. That would only make recovering the stolen coins more difficult.

Also, just before the alleged hack in April, Africrypt employees suddenly no longer had access to the system behind the platform. And in that, the conversation rate of the currency was at an all-time high. According to the value at the time, the 69,000 bitcoins together would be worth more than 4 billion dollars.

There is now no trace of either brother. The company’s website has been taken down, the phone is not being answered, and no one seems to know where they are. Bitcoins have also disappeared without a trace. They cannot be traced, partly due to so-called mixers, making it challenging to find the coins.

A Cape Town law firm that has been called in says the Cajees cannot be found and has handed the case over to an elite unit of the national police. Whether South Africa’s financial authorities will launch a formal investigation is unclear. Cryptocurrencies would not be seen as official financial products.