Friday, February 20, 2015

Bitcoin Crime Wave Breaks Out in NYC

The Observer reports:
Bitcoin, the technology that’s meant to revolutionize the way we think of money, is simultaneously revolutionizing the way we get mugged.

A New York City firefighter named Dwayne Richards was recently held up, stabbed and robbed by thieves who were after his bitcoin, the Observer has learned. From what we’ve discovered, Mr. Richards—who is a firefighter in lower Manhattan—was mugged and left bleeding after meeting the robbers under the pretense of exchanging bitcoin for cash in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He’s alive, well, and refusing comment...

Robbing someone of his bitcoin in person can be an astonishingly effective way to make off with vast sums of capital quickly and untraceably. And Mr. Richards is far from the first to fall victim to bitcoin-related brutality.

Dean Katz is a one-man bitcoin exchange. Every day, he drives around New York buying and selling bitcoin, on call to a large customer base. He’s like a weed delivery guy, only instead of delivering drugs, he’s bringing people the future of financial transactions.

One day, he received a call from someone who had heard about his services, either online or through a referral, who wanted to visit him out in Queens at a secure location.

“He called because he wanted to gamble during the Super Bowl, which is pretty common,” Mr. Katz told the Observer.

When the person arrived, he held Mr. Katz up at gunpoint and forced him to transfer $8,500 worth of bitcoin. Then, the robber took $3,500 in cash and split.

“Right now, it’s like the Wild West,” Mr. Katz said, “and stagecoach robberies are going to happen.”

Mr. Katz reported the incident to the police, but he’s heard from a number of other people who trade bitcoin in person that there have been other incidents. Some of the other occurrences have been physical robberies, others have just involved the use of counterfeit money—which as a hustling entrepreneur, he considers just as offensive.
So much for the idea that a street Bitcoin transaction is less dangerous than a street drug transaction.



  1. In a blog that's known for its stupid bitcoin posts, this is probably the stupidest you've ever written.

  2. ...and the fact that you need to go do Bitcoin (and drug) transactions on the street if you for some reason want to do that has NOTHING to do with State's thugs in uniforms. Nothing.

    It's not Bitcoin or drugs which are dangerous, it's these thugs which make it so. Intentionally. (I wouldn't exclude the possibility that the robbers in this case were actual cops. They certainly have the motive and the means).

  3. You are scrapping the bottom of the barrel to slam bitcoin. News flash, people will kill for cash, gold, silver, diamonds, jewelry, etc...

    What you have actually done is provided evidence that bitcoin has value and that people outside of practicing ancaps see it. Remember when you said bitcoin is nothing but transfers from one libertarian to another? Way to disprove yourself. Lol.

    And please link to anyone saying it's totally safe to publicly post that you have x amount of bitcoin and want to meet up for a cash exchange

  4. Yes, because two events (one of which the victim won't even talk about) is a "crime wave". I'm sure more cars are stolen in NYC in one hour, but no mention of the "Car Theft Crime Wave".

    Look, I get it - Wenzel doesn't like Bitcoin. But is linking to such an obviously stupid article helping your cause?