Despite the recent crash in the value of bitcoins, cryptocurrency as a whole remains a hot commodity and, increasingly, people will commit violence to get in on the action.
According to reports, heavily-armed gangsters this week kidnapped an executive said to be employed by Exmo Finance, a UK-registered cryptocurrency exchange, releasing the man only after being paid a $1 million bitcoin ransom, according to Gizmodo.
Attacked on Tuesday by professionals wearing dark clothes and face-shielding balaclavas, Exmo manager Pavel Lerner was forced into a black automobile near the company’s main office in Kiev, Ukraine.
Lerner was reported to have only been freed Thursday after he provided his captors with the necessary information to steal $1 million in the cryptocurrency.
“He was kidnapped by an armed gang for the purpose of extorting bitcoins,” stated Ukrainian interior ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko, adding, “We have operative information that he paid more than $1m worth of bitcoins,” cited by Financial Times.
Gerashchenko further observed that Lerner was “released in a state of shock” and was “very lucky to be alive.”
Exmo Finance has asserted that all of its customer data remains safe, commenting earlier that Lerner did not have “access either to storages or any personal data of users,” cited by the BBC.