Bitcoin and the crypto space still have much to overcome regarding security and protection in order to flourish. However, cyberspace is not the only place where security threats exist.
Forbes identified last year that while physical attacks for Bitcoin thefts are rare, they are the fourth largest vector for losing crypto. Another report by The Guardian found that the streets of London experienced an uptick in “crypto muggings” after attackers stole victims’ phones and accessed their unprotected crypto wallets.
Software engineer and BTC advocate Jameson Lopp compiled a running list of all the known physical attacks/thefts on bitcoin holders worldwide.
January: Bitcoin ATM Stolen From Gas Station
In Memphis, Tennessee, police caught a group of people stealing a Bitcoin ATM from a petrol station. According to reports, they smashed a truck through the windows of the station to remove the ATM.
We would have loved to see their faces when they figured out that there were no actual Bitcoins inside the machine.
February: A Bitcoin Kidnapping Incident
Indian city police of Pune nabbed eight people, including a police officer, for allegedly kidnapping a victim in an attempt to extort Bitcoins.
Reports claim that the accused held the victim hostage for 300 crore rupees ($36.6 million) in BTC.
March: Home of Bitcoin Trader Invaded
In March, Dubai police arrested four men for stealing Bitcoins from a trader.
The accused jointly paid a fine of Dh1.7 million (over $462,000 at press time), which was the amount they reportedly stole from the victim’s residence after putting a knife to the man’s neck.
April: House Robbery of Crypto Keys
Another incident came from Canada, where armed men reportedly broke into a home in Canyon Meadows. Apart from taking other financial belongings, the men located and stole private keys for the victim’s cryptocurrency.
The victim suffered minor injuries, according to media reports.
May: BTC Mining Machine Stolen
In Malaysia, twelve men were detained in relation to the theft of Bitcoin mining rigs. This theft reportedly resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of ringgit for the owner.
The arrest came from a complaint made by the proprietor of an aluminum firm. The owner alleged that his building was broken into on two occasions, and 180 Bitcoin mining machines were taken.
July: Fake Bitcoin Deal
Two persons were found guilty of robbing a businessman and his friend after duping them with a fictitious Bitcoin deal. The incident was reported in Dubai after the businessman contacted a promoter to execute a physical fiat-for-Bitcoin trade.
Two individuals who reportedly attacked the victim grabbed the bag containing Dh183,000 (around $49,800), three phones, paperwork, and bank checks.
September: Robbing Incidents at Gunpoint
In September, U.K. police detained three individuals for attempting to rob a local man of his crypto holdings. According to reports, all three were charged with carrying weapons “with intent to cause loss to another to make an unwarranted demand of cryptocurrency from a person.”
December: Businessman Asked to Surrender Crypto Holdings
A Russian businessman informed police that masked persons coerced him into disclosing the password to his digital wallet after kidnapping him from his car. The wallet contained 250 Bitcoins (about $17 million).
According to the victim, the incident occurred in Moscow after the culprits took him to an unidentified location.
All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.