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Why owners of Cryptocurrency Face The Risk Of Physical Assault?

Why Owners Of Cryptocurrency Face The Risk Of Physical Assault?

Owners of cryptocurrencies are facing the increasing risk of being physically assaulted by criminals as the virtual asset has become a precious commodity like gold. This is not restricted to any single country and spreads across the globe. Interestingly, Jameson Lopp, a crypto enthusiast, has come out with a catalog of attacks through a dedicated GitHub directory. The incidents are wide ranging like kidnappings, stealing of ATM machines, armed home invasions, and aggravated assault. The lack of identity comes in handy for the fraudsters to look at digital coin owners.

Open Source Repository

The crypto enthusiast indicated in a tweet that he had started an open source repository that would list the physical attacks on the owners of the crypto asset. His objective is to help track the dynamic security landscape and called upon others to come forward with any addition or corrections. His tweet has obviously elicited some response as the list expanded to hit 31 incidents into his catalog. He has already cataloged 23 known attacks in the directory.

Lopp has also shared his opinion through the social media thus indicating that the last six months have witnessed ten of those crimes. This meant that there was strong proof that the pace of attack is accelerating as his tweet generated a heated discussion on the platform. The platform also enabled a number of users to share their own experience of physical attacks just because they are owners of digital currencies. One of the users indicated that “Was held hostage for a few hours in China.”

The crypto enthusiasts catalog included incidents that happened in different countries in the world, reported. This included Ukraine, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates and even Iceland. Significantly, the United States tops the list of facing the most number of physical assaults with ten out of the 31 attacks. The earliest attack was seen in December 2014 in the list whereas the latest attack dated July 6 this year. The catalog included sources for all incidents listed there.

Aside from these, Lopp also tweeted about an incident in which the victim could defend himself successfully and prevented the attacker. This was the only incident where the attacker was stopped by the owner of bitcoin. In other 27 incidents that were documented, physical attacks were against the owners of bitcoin, which is leading the market cap table.

First Organized Step

Lopp’s effort is the first organized one to list attacks and assaults on crypto-associated issues or owners. For the hackers and cybercriminals, the common target is undoubtedly crypto-enthusiasts currently. That is mainly because of the increasing importance being given to the digital currency segment in the developed economies. However, kidnapping incidents have taken place in India too where even police have allegedly been involved in demanding bitcoin.

Incidentally, it was only in March that Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak, disclosed that he lost seven bitcoin to the scammer and attributed it to lack of caution. He said, “Somebody bought them from me online through a credit card, and he or she canceled the credit card payment. It was that easy.”

About the author


Pamela Morgan

Pamela Morgan studied computer science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). During her academic years, she has produced a significant number of high-impact scientific publications in the field of blockchain. Her research focuses on models of crypto security and DApps.

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