A Bitcoin trader in the village of Moulsford in South Oxfordshire, England, was forced by armed robbers to transfer holdings of the cryptocurrency at gunpoint.
Bitcoin is the most widely used cryptocurrency today. It has been around since 2009.
According to police, nobody had been seriously hurt in what’s being described as “a targeted incident”.
The heist was carried out by four people, reportedly wearing balaclavas. They broke into the home of former city financier Danny Aston and his wife, Amy Jay. According to The Telegraph, Aston worked at a financial software company in London called Trayport before setting up his own digital currency firm right before bitcoin’s huge surge in value last summer.
A mother of a child who goes to nearby independent school was quoted by The Mail as saying:
“I saw four young men in black tracksuits with the hoods pulled up, crossing the road to the property where it took place.”
She added: “They were aged 18 to 25, dark-skinned and super-fit. They jumped over the fence on the other side of the road. I didn’t see any gun, but that’s what people locally are saying – and that the men wore balaclavas which I didn’t see either, just the hoodies pulled up.
“It was a strange time for them to choose because there are always so many parents coming and going directly opposite.
It is believed to be the first bitcoin heist that’s happened in the UK.
Bitcoin is cryptocurrency with no regulation or central bank, allowing people to trade it in complete anonymity.
The value of a single Bitcoin is now worth around £8,000.
Criminals are catching on to the popularity of Bitcoin
Guy Shone, chief executive of Explain The Market, told the Mail on Sunday: “These are criminals who have likely caught on to the current popularity of Bitcoin.
“But depending on how much they have, these coins are like being in possession of a rare painting. Trying to exchange large amounts for normal money without alerting suspicion will be very difficult.”
“I’d be amazed if more people didn’t see them.”
Video – What is a cryptocurrency?
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency. There are several different cryptocurrencies today. This Market Business News video explains what a cryptocurrency is using simple terms and examples.