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Bitcoin millionaire jumps off balcony after being threatened with shotgun

It is the latest in a string of violent incidents where criminals target victims for their cryptocurrency holdings

Anthony Cuthbertson
Monday 09 September 2019 14:28 BST
What is cryptocurrency and the technology behind bitcoin and its rivals?

A Norwegian multi-millionaire jumped from a second-story balcony in Oslo following an attempted armed robbery, according to local reports.

Prior to the attempted robbery, the victim had allegedly boasted about making a fortune through investing in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Norwegian broadcaster TV2 reported.

An indictment taken by the Oslo Attorney General's Office said the perpetrator knocked on the victim's apartment door brandishing a shotgun.

When the victim opened the door the robber said "lie down, or I'll shoot", but instead the victim decided to jump from his balcony. It is not known whether he sustained any injuries in the fall.

The unnamed businessman runs a cryptocurrency company and his personal wealth is estimated as around NOK 100 million (£9m).

Bitcoin's current price of around $10,400 is a long way off its peak in late 2017, when 1 bitcoin was worth around $20,000, however it still remains a popular target for criminals.

The digital nature of cryptocurrency means that a long and complex password known as a private key is all that is needed to transfer funds from one digital wallet to another.

The incident in Oslo is the latest in a string of cases involving criminals targeting people for their cryptocurrency holdings, with the semi-anonymous nature of bitcoin and other digital currencies making it difficult for police to track transactions.

A bitcoin millionaire jumped from a second story apartment building in Oslo, Norway, following an attempted robbery (Getty Images)

In 2015, a New York City firefighter was stabbed by muggers who demanded he handed over his private keys. Two years later, kidnappers in the Ukraine made more than $1 million after successfully ransoming a cryptocurrency analyst.

Earlier this year, three robbers disguised as police entered a victim's home in Drenthe in the Netherlands and tortured a man with a drill in an attempt to get access to his bitcoin. The one-hour ordeal took place in front of the victim's four-year-old daughter but was ultimately unsuccessful.

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