IRL Threats of Holding Crypto

In the past three months, major news outlets have reported physical violence -- some life-threatening -- against holders of cryptocurrency. We don't expect this rash of attacks to end any time soon.

According to The New York Times, at a Thai beach resort in February, assailants pushed their victim, a young Russian man, into his apartment and kept him there, blindfolded, until he logged onto his computer and transferred about $100,000 worth of Bitcoin to an online wallet they controlled.

A few weeks before that, the head of a Bitcoin exchange in Ukraine was taken hostage and only released after the company paid a ransom of $1 million in Bitcoin. In New York City, a man was held captive by a friend until he transferred over $1.8 million worth of Ether, a virtual currency second in value only to Bitcoin.

Takeaway: Managers of virtual currency funds have real and present dangers that can be mitigated by reducing personal information online and by having an operational security program at work that ensures physical safety and protocols for identifying and managing threats.

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