Cryptocurrency trader held at gunpoint in UK's first Bitcoin heist

Police are appealing for witnesses following Britain's first "Bitcoin heist," in which a trader was held at gunpoint and ordered to transfer the cryptocurrency. 

RELATED: The creation of currency inside the US mint

19 PHOTOS
The creation of U.S. currency inside the U.S. Mint
See Gallery
The creation of U.S. currency inside the U.S. Mint
PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 27: United States Mint in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 27, 2016. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)
The US flag hangs over gold bars in a vault at the United States Mint at West Point in West Point, New York, U.S., on Wednesday, June 5, 2013. Sales of gold and silver coins by the U.S. Mint may rise to a record this year if demand continues to remain at the current pace, according to Richard Peterson, acting director of the mint. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images
United States one dollar bills are curled and inspected during production at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington November 14, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS POLITICS)
United States one dollar bills are inspected under a magnifying glass during production at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington November 14, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS POLITICS)
One ounce 24 karat gold proof blanks are seen at the United States West Point Mint facility in West Point, New York June 5, 2013. Demand for U.S. gold coins is still at "unprecedented" high levels almost two months after an historic sell-off in gold released years of pent-up demand from retail investors, the head the U.S. Mint said on Wednesday. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS COMMODITIES)
One-ounce silver Liberty coins sit in a tray at the United States Mint at West Point in West Point, New York, U.S., on Wednesday, June 5, 2013. Sales of gold and silver coins by the U.S. Mint may rise to a record this year if demand continues to remain at the current pace, according to Richard Peterson, acting director of the mint. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Pressman Larry Norton inspects a one-ounce silver bullion coin at the United States Mint at West Point in West Point, New York, U.S., on Wednesday, June 5, 2013. Sales of gold and silver coins by the U.S. Mint may rise to a record this year if demand continues to remain at the current pace, according to Richard Peterson, acting director of the mint. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An employee washes one-ounce silver coin blanks at the United States Mint at West Point in West Point, New York, U.S., on Wednesday, June 5, 2013. Sales of gold and silver coins by the U.S. Mint may rise to a record this year if demand continues to remain at the current pace, according to Richard Peterson, acting director of the mint. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Don Daldo inspects a 2010 Sacagawea dollar coin at the United States Mint in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010. The U.S. dollar has risen 2.5 percent versus the euro since Jan. 31, heading for a third monthly gain, its longest stretch since November 2008. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A roll of metal for coin production sits at the United States Mint in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010. The U.S. dollar has risen 2.5 percent versus the euro since Jan. 31, heading for a third monthly gain, its longest stretch since November 2008. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 19: Twenty-five-dollar rolls of the new presidential one-dollar coin with the image of Abraham Lincoln are displayed for people to exchange after an introduction event at President Lincoln's Cottage at the Soldiers' Home November 19, 2010 in Washington, DC. The United States Mint introduced the coin on the 147th anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
The US flag hangs over gold bars in a vault at the United States Mint at West Point in West Point, New York, U.S., on Wednesday, June 5, 2013. Sales of gold and silver coins by the U.S. Mint may rise to a record this year if demand continues to remain at the current pace, according to Richard Peterson, acting director of the mint. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A sheet of United States one dollar bills is seen on a light table during production at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington November 14, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS POLITICS)
One ounce silver coins undergo washing at the cleaning facility at the United States West Point Mint facility in West Point, New York June 5, 2013. The appetite for U.S. American Eagle gold and silver bullion coins is still at unprecedentedly high levels almost two months after a historic sell-off in gold unleashed years of pent-up demand from retail investors, the head of the U.S. Mint said on Wednesday. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS COMMODITIES)
Freshly minted pennies sit in a collection bin at the United States Mint in Denver, Colorado, U.S., on Monday, Oct. 19, 2009. The yen and dollar gained versus the euro and extended their first weekly advances in four weeks amid concern the global economic recovery may stall as stimulus measures wind down, reducing demand for riskier assets. Photographer: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 08: A die, left, and hub for a 2007 quarter-dollar coin honoring Wyoming, are arranged for a photograph the at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2007. (Photo by Stephen Hilger/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 08: Robert Wasner, metal foreman and machine operator at the U.S. Mint, visually inspects a 2007 James Madison Presidential one dollar coin after its striking in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2007. (Photo by Stephen Hilger/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 08: Mike Spinosa, a pit driver at the U.S. Mint, transfers one cent blanks before they are struck into pennies in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2007. The dollar fell to a record low against the euro after Federal Reserve policy makers cut their benchmark interest rate by a quarter-percentage point. (Photo by Stephen Hilger/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

A spokesperson for Thames Valley Police told Mashable that police are investigating the "aggravated burglary" which took place in a residential property in Moulsford, Oxfordshire, on 22 Jan. 

SEE ALSO: Here's what you need to know before you buy bitcoin

"Officers were called at about 9.40am to a report that offenders had entered a residential property off Reading Road and threatened the occupants. No one was seriously injured during the incident," the spokesperson said. 

The Mail on Sunday spoke to residents of the village who were in a state shock: "For something like this to happen here is terrifying," one villager said. "It’s a very quiet place and, although there is a lot of money round here, a digital currency heist is the last thing anyone would expect – particularly during the school run." 

According to the Mail, a group of armed thieves broke into a house in the village and "forced a cyber-currency trader to transfer" funds in Bitcoin via his computer. The quantity transferred is not known. 

Mashable senior editor and cryptocurrency expert Stan Schroeder says this incident highlights potential problems that could arise with a cryptocurrency-fuelled future. 

"Doing your own banking on a decentralised, tamper-proof ledger is great if you want to circumvent banks, but on the other hand it’s easier to rob a physical person than a bank, especially if all their money is protected by a blockchain private key, which is typically a string of letters and numbers," says Schroeder. 

"It’s possible that our decentralised, blockchain future will also include very centralised methods to protect one’s assets — i.e. institutions which can guard them with guns and manpower," he continues. 

No arrests have been made but "initial enquiries suggest this may be a targeted incident," said police. 

Police have appealed for anyone travelling through the village on the morning of 22 Jan. to send them their Dashcam or mobile phone footage.  

Anyone with information can call Thames Valley Police on the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.  

 

WATCH: Bye-bye, Bitcoin. It's all about bananacoins.

Read Full Story

Can't get enough personal finance tips?

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from consumer news to money tricks delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.