Another Bitcoin CEO was killed in Kerala, India today over losses that he was allegedly unable to pay back, according to news reports in India.
CEO Abdul Shakoor allegedly lost several millions of dollars in Bitcoin and when he was unable to pay it back, he was tortured and beat up by what appear to have been his business colleagues. They dumped his body at a hospital before fleeing.
Shakoor allegedly told his business colleagues that the company’s wallet that held all the pooled digital currencies was hacked. Only Shakoor had the passwords to access the wallet.
His business colleagues tortured him for access to the wallet, ultimately killing him for access.
A month ago, another Bitcoin executive, Tobiasz Niemiro, was murdered in Poland shortly after announcing that his digital currency exchange, BitMarket, was insolvent and customer funds were lost.
A month ago in India, three Bitcoin traders were kidnapped, taken to a high rise in India and tortured for two weeks. The kidnappers sought 80 Bitcoin for their release. And over a year ago, an ICO developer was kidnapped, beaten, mutilated and forced to transfer over $1M in Bitcoin to robbers in Moscow.
The number of murders of Bitcoin executives keeps growing.
A year ago, a Canadian Bitcoin exchange owner named Giuseppe Bugge, who police say was tied to organized crime, was gunned down in a hail of 140 bullets from machine guns in Mexico in territory controlled by the powerful drug cartel, the CJNG.
Ten months ago, Heikki Bjørklund Paltto, a Bitcoin trader, was murdered in his home in Norway. He was 24 years old. And 18 months ago, a Bitcoin executive, Pavel Nyashin, was murdered in Russia. He was 23 years old.
The first Bitcoin exchange murder was in 2014 – then, the CEO of an early exchange, Autumn Radtke, was murdered in Singapore, although some believe her death was a suicide.
The problem will no doubt keep growing, fuelled by a combination of factors – the lack of adherence to security protocols and safety awareness risks by executives of digital currency exchanges, the lack of insurance and security professionals involved in the digital currency exchange space and the continued risky practice of allowing one or two executives to exclusively control the pooled wallets of exchanges. Until digital currency executives adopt an approach to security that more closely resembles bank security for executives, they will continue to be at risk personally, and to place corporate assets at risk of theft, loss and extortion attempts.