Bitcoin and the crypto space still have a long way to go in terms of security and protection before they can thrive. However, security threats do not exist only in cyberspace.
According to Forbes, while physical attacks for Bitcoin theft are rare, they are the fourth largest vector for losing crypto. Another report by The Guardian discovered an increase in “crypto muggings” on London’s streets after attackers stole victims’ phones and accessed their unprotected crypto wallets.
Jameson Lopp, a software engineer and Bitcoin advocate, has compiled a running list of all known physical attacks/thefts on bitcoin holders worldwide.
Police in Memphis, Tennessee, apprehended a group of people stealing a Bitcoin ATM from a gas station. According to reports, they smashed a truck through the station’s windows to remove the ATM.
We’d love to see their reactions when they realized there were no actual Bitcoins inside the machine.
Pune police arrested eight people, including a police officer, for allegedly kidnapping a victim in order to extort Bitcoins.
According to reports, the accused held the victim hostage in exchange for 300 crore rupees ($36.6 million) in BTC.
Dubai police arrested four men in March for stealing Bitcoins from a trader.
The accused collectively paid a fine of Dh1.7 million (approximately $462,000 at press time), the amount they allegedly stole from the victim’s home after putting a knife to the man’s neck.
Another incident reported from Canada involved armed men breaking into a home in Canyon Meadows. Aside from other financial items, the men discovered and stole the victim’s cryptocurrency private keys.
According to media reports, the victim suffered minor injuries.
Twelve men were arrested in Malaysia in connection with the theft of Bitcoin mining rigs. The owner reportedly lost hundreds of thousands of ringgit as a result of this theft.
The arrest was the result of a complaint filed by the owner of an aluminum company. The owner claimed that his building was broken into twice and that 180 Bitcoin mining machines were stolen.
Two people were found guilty of robbing a businessman and his friend after duping them with a fake Bitcoin transaction. The incident was reported in Dubai after a businessman contacted a promoter to carry out a physical fiat-for-Bitcoin transaction.
Two people who allegedly assaulted the victim took the bag containing Dh183,000 (approximately $49,800), three phones, paperwork, and bank checks.
In September, three people were arrested in the United Kingdom for attempting to rob a local man of his cryptocurrency holdings. According to reports, all three were charged with carrying weapons “with the intent to cause loss to another in order to make an unreasonable demand of cryptocurrency from a person.”
A Russian businessman told police that masked men kidnapped him from his car and forced him to reveal the password to his digital wallet. The wallet held 250 Bitcoins (approximately $17 million).
According to the victim, the incident happened in Moscow after the perpetrators took him to an unknown location.