24-Year-Old Man Killed in Oslo After Selling Bitcoin For Large Amount of Cash
A 24-year-old man in Oslo, Norway was recently found murdered in his apartment after selling a significant amount of his Bitcoin holdings for cash.
TV 2, the largest commercial television broadcaster in Norway, reported that local police has obtained sufficient evidence to believe that the victim held cash he obtained after selling Bitcoin on an exchange in his apartment.
Several sources close to the investigation told local publications that the intelligence unit of Oslo Police are exploring potential suspects of the case. At this phase of the investigation, the local police stated that until a suspect is arrested, it will not be able to provide any additional information regarding the case.
The head of joint unit for intelligence and investigation of Oslo police, Grete Lien Metlid, said that the police has been analyzing CCTV footages around the area but has not connected the case to a suspect as of yet.
Importance of Privacy
Previously, in an interview, Zcash founder and CEO Zooko Wilcox stated that at the base blockchain layer, the majority of major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum do not have strong privacy measures in place to protect users and investors.
He explained that the utilization of privacy-focused cryptocurrencies or the implementation of secure privacy solutions onto existing cryptocurrencies will eliminate the possibility of thieves and criminals directly phishing or targeting cryptocurrency holders. Wilcox said:
“For example, the national authorities of South Korea are primarily concerned with two things: consumer financial protection and national defense. As far as consumer financial protection, South Korea has banned ICOs but continues to allow cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Zcash. As far as national defense goes, they believe that certain thieves who have been hacking into South Korean companies to steal Bitcoin are working for the North Korean regime. The encryption built into Zcash can actually help protect South Korean citizens and businesses from such thieves because it protects their wealth and their transactions from being exposed through the blockchain.”
Contrary to popular belief, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology are inherently non-anonymous. Through the usage of public blockchain explorers and transaction untangling tools, it is possible to attach addresses and transactions to identities found online.
Startups like Chainalysis, which work with authorities and cryptocurrency exchanges, are capable of utilizing IP addresses attached to transactions to potentially connect wallets to identities found on social media.
Hence, given the report provided by the Oslo police and the details of the case provided to local publications, the probability that the victim was traced by hackers that have tracked his address or account.
Joke Becomes Reality
In early 2017, Monero developer FluffyPony told Coinbase employees in a seminar that serious problems could emerge when using public blockchain networks without privacy measures. He suggested that a user could sell Bitcoin on a local exchange and can be held up at knife point after the trade.
“If we don’t have financial privacy, there are bad things that can happen. We might end up with targeted advertising based on spending habits. [Another example is] targeted crime against the wealthy. You go to a local Bitcoin exchange and next minute you’re held up at knife point. Even worse, you go and pay with Bitcoin for an item and now, the owner knows your bank balance.”
This week, a scenario mentioned by FluffyPony materialized, in which a Bitcoin investor used a local exchange and was murdered several days later.
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