A British crypto-trader was held at gunpoint last week and forced to transfer his cryptocurrency holdings to masked men who burst into his home in sleepy Moulsford, Oxfordshire.
The intruders removed his baby from the room, tied up his partner, pointed a gun to his face and demanded that he gave up his Bitcoin.
Children and teachers from neighbouring schools were locked inside while police and their helicopter scoured the countryside as the intruders fled through open countryside.
“Something like this to happen here is terrifying”
A witness said that the robbers were “aged 18 to 25, dark-skinned and super-fit”. A neighbour said that the village was in “a state of shock,” adding that for “something like this to happen here is terrifying.”
It is believed that the victim was targeted due to publicly available information relating to his prolific trading in cryptocurrencies, whilst his trading company listed his home address as its domicile.
Though this is the first known incident of its kind in the UK, it is part of a disturbing international trend. Last week armed men attempted to assail employees of a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange though the alarm was raised before they managed to take anything.
Incidents such as these highlight the inherent limitations of cryptocurrency privacy mechanisms. Holders of sizeable crypto holdings are generally advised to explore options such as multi-signature wallets and securised cold storage as possible fence-guards for such attacks.