There’s a disturbing reason never to disclose your Bitcoin wealth publicly, as a Norwegian millionaire and many others have discovered.
From being assaulted with a drill, to tortured with a hot iron, Bitcoin robbers have been extremely persuasive at accessing Bitcoin passcodes and login information and making off with millions.
An ongoing court case has disclosed details of the latest horrifying attack on a multi millionaire at his home in Oslo on May 14 this year.
The Bitcoin traders in his 40s who had been very public about his success but had virtually no private security, said he had answered the door to discover a man holding a shotgun.
Lie down or I’ll shoot. Nope, see-ya!
According to a report taken by the Oslo Attorney General’s Office, the alleged attacker then made his way into the apartment and issued the grim instruction “Lie down or I’ll shoot”.
Showing a fairly reckless disregard for his own safety, rather than give up access information to his large Bitcoin holdings, the millionaire promptly ran out onto his balcony and vaulted the railing, ending up two floors below on the street.
It is not known if he was injured and his representatives declined to provide further details on the matter, wary of further media attention.
The victim has worked in crypto for almost a decade now and his company reports show he is worth more than 100 million NOK, or around $11 million.
The case is not yet over
The alleged attacker’s lawyer did not admit criminal charges in the case which goes to court on October 17.
However it has once again highlighted the dangers of disclosing cryptocurrency wealthy publicly.
Unlike fiat money, which is usually safeguarded by a bank or tied up in investments, Bitcoin wealth can usually be accessed and transferred directly and (mostly) untraceably from a wallet by a victim given enough ‘encouragement’ with threats to their personal safety.
Dozens of attacks in ‘meatspace’
There are at least 51 cryptocurrency attacks reported on by media in the ‘real world’ – and probably many more.
In July a criminal gang in India kidnapped and tortured cryptocurrency traders across two weeks demanding 80 Bitcoin for their return.
They’d been lured to the location by the gang members promising to sell discounted BTC.
In February, three robbers posing as police tortured a Bitcoin trader with a drill in Drouwenerveen, Netherlands demanding crypto.
In November last year a Bitcoin trader from Lanseria in South Africa was invited to make a presentation on cryptocurrency at a public event.
Instead he was drugged, stripped of his clothing and tortured with a hot iron to give up his Bitcoin password.
Sustaining serious burns all over his body, he eventually gave up and transferred 900,000 South African rand – around $70,000 worth – to his attackers.
The stunning true twist in the tale
Also in November The New York Post reported a group of young professional men ransacked their friend Nicholas Truglia’s New York apartment and held his head underwater in the bath demanding the login information to his crypto accounts …
In a beautiful twist it emerged Truglia had made it all up – which inspired people to take a closer look at the source of his Bitcoin wealth.
Truglia ended up being outed as ‘The Bitcoin Bandit’, who headed up a gang of 25 accomplices using SIM swapping scams to fund extravagant lifestyles.
Earlier this year he was ordered to pay $74.8 million in compensation to one of his victims, Bitcoin investor Michael Terpin.