Danny Aston, who appears to have been a localbitcoins trader buying and selling BTC with a trust rating of some 3,000, was targeted by four armed robbers yesterday in their Moulsford home, Oxfordshire. Thames Valley police says:
“Officers are particularly interested in speaking to anyone travelling through the village on the A329 Reading Road between 7.30am and 10.30am on Monday who has Dashcam footage or anyone with mobile phone footage.”
However, the first attempted bitcoin heist in UK sees the criminals empty handed as Aston pretended to have completed the transaction without actually transferring the coins. Police has also confirmed no money was moved or stolen from the cryptocurrency trader.
Hunt for the robbers still continues as an attempted robbery is a very serious crime and treated by law just as if a robbery had occurred, potentially attracting a life sentence.
But how exactly they were tricked was perhaps understandably not revealed. Bitcoiners are speculating one way might have been by sending a very low fee transaction.
Due to network congestion, that would probably not confirm, a higher fee transaction thus can later be sent and be given priority in confirmation.
That makes crypto robbery a very risky business because in that highly charged situation waiting for a confirmation might amount to being very sure of prison.
Aston himself appears to have been in the business of buying and selling crypto from his description of completing “more than 100,000 trades with more than 16,375 partners.” Thus most probably a localbitcoins trader, although that’s unconfirmed speculation.
But if you’re a long term investor, there are ways to secure your holdings in a manner that makes it impossible for you alone to move the crypto.
One such way is what is called multi-sig. That’s a smart contract of sorts that says instead of only your private key being sufficient for a transaction, you need two different keys or more.
Thus you could arrange for one key to be held by you and another by a friend, family, or a bank, so making a physical robbery stupendously impractical.
There are other more complicated methods to in effect implement the above. One of them is Shamir Secret Sharing, which breaks up your key into six parts or more with four of those parts required for you to be able to transfer the crypto. Thus making a physical robbery impossible if you do not have all four parts in the same location.
These methods are most likely widely used by any crypto company that holds assets and most certainly, we hope, by all crypto companies worth a name.
Thus making such primitive, base, utterly despicable and stupendously idiotic criminal behavior, like a physical robbery, only an engagement in courting prison, for any assets they wouldn’t find.