Headline May 07, 2018/ ''' BITCOIN -*SWATing*- BANTER '''

''' BITCOIN -*SWATing*- BANTER '''

CRIMINALS AND CROOKS - have grown more brazen as virtual currencies have spiked.

''This is now becoming more pervasive and touching more law enforcement divisions that deal with organized crime.''

A FEW tears ago, some of Bitcoins earliest proponents had SWAT teams called to their homes by people who demanded big Bitcoin payments to stop the harassment -

A tactic called SWATing'' in some online communities.

There have also been many documented holdings around the world at in-person meetings where people were looking to convert cash into virtual currency, including one last year in Palm Beach, Fla, where the thief made off with $28,000 before being arrested.

But criminals have grown much more brazen as the price of Bitcoin has spiked. The most audacious attack hit Exmo, the virtual currency exchange in Ukraine.

The chief executive of the exchange, Pavel Lerner, was abducted the day after Christmas and freed a few days later after the company made a ransom payment of  Bitcoin worth around $1 million.

A spokeswoman for Exmo said the money came from Mr. Lerner's personal funds. Mr. Lerner was on leave from the company.

A month earlier, A Turkish businessman was forced to hand over the pass words to his virtual currency wallets - containing nearly $3 million worth of Bitcoin - after having -

His car stopped by an armed gang in Istanbul that appeared to know about his Bitcoin holdings, according to local news report.

Many big virtual currency holders privately say that they will no longer travel to Russia, Turkey or other countries where they assume that attacks may be easier to pull off because of organized crime.

But armed attackers have also hit a Canadian Bitcoin Exchange in Ottawa, and Ether investor in New York City and a prominent virtual currency trader living near Oxford, England.

In a number of cases, the assailants have been caught - and been forced to return the money - because of video footage.

But in other cases, the criminals are still at large.

The unsolved crimes have sown fear among the ranks of so-called crypto rich, which have grown considerably over the past year.

Most of the crypto rich are loathe to speak publicly about the risk of physical attacks, for fear of making themselves targets.

But Jameson Lopp, a longtime Bitcoin engineer and virtual currency holder, said the community should be proactive in confronting the threat, to let criminals know that people are taking steps to protect themselves.

Mr. Lopp has long kept his virtual currency holdings in so-called multi-signature wallets created by the company he works for, BitGo.

These wallets require multiple people to sign off on a transaction before the money can move.

Mr. Lopp will go even further this year when he, his girlfriend and his dog move. He plans to ''go dark'' - not providing the address to anyone and using a post office box for deliveries.

But he said even that will not fully banish his concerns.

''If you are rich and you own real estate. or stocks or sports team, somebody can't mug you and take your sports team away,'' he said.

''Having liquid crypto assets makes you much more attractive for that type of criminal attack.''

!WOW! thanks author and researcher Nathaniel Popper. and Poypiti Amatatham, Bangkok and Doria Burke.

With respectful dedication to the Bitcoin Exchanges, and then Students, Professors and Teachers of the world.

See Ya all ''register'' on !WOW! - the World Students Society and Twitter-!E-WOW! - the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Fleeing - Safety '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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