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Britain sees first Bitcoin armed robbery: Reports

Armed robbers have raided the house of a British virtual currency trader, forcing him to transfer Bitcoins after tying up his wife and threatening him with a gun, British media reported

world Updated: Jan 29, 2018 21:30 IST
A huge advertisement of Bitcon is displayed near a train station in Tokyo Monday, Jan. 29, 2018.
A huge advertisement of Bitcon is displayed near a train station in Tokyo Monday, Jan. 29, 2018.(AP)

Armed robbers have raided the house of a British virtual currency trader, forcing him to transfer Bitcoins after tying up his wife and threatening him with a gun, British media reported on Monday.

The robbery happened on January 22 at the couple’s home in the village of Moulsford in southeast England, according to the Daily Mail, which said the cryptocurrency crime was the first of its kind.

Four robbers wearing balaclavas broke into the house of Danny Aston, 30, and his wife Amy Jay, 31.

A Thames Valley Police spokesman quoted by the Daily Telegraph said only that police were investigating an “aggravated burglary” in Moulsford last week and that the occupants of the house had been “threatened”.

According to company registry records, Aston and Jay are directors of Aston Digital Currencies, which specialises in managing virtual currency portfolios.

The company was created in June 2017 at a time when Bitcoin was trading at around 2,500 euros.

It has since risen sharply to a peak of 16,323 euros on December 17 before falling back below 10,000 euros.

No arrests have been made but the reports said that Aston may have been targeted because of his high profile in the cryptocurrency community.

Using a pseudonym, Aston has carried out more than 100,000 transactions with 16,375 partners.

Some of them referred to him online using his real name, which may have led robbers directly to him.

Bitcoin is a virtual currency created from computer code that allows anonymous transactions. Unlike a real-world unit such as the US dollar or euro, it has no central bank and is not backed by any government.