For as digital and decentralised as the world of cryptocurrency is, there will always be a physical element. To interact with the virtual market, one must first use a physical device such as a computer or smartphone. As it turns out, those very devices are now being targeted by “Crypto Muggers” looking to gain easy money.
The rise of Crypto Muggers
Reported by The Guardian, the city of London, England is currently suffering from a wave of crypto muggings. The new trend of mugging has become a prominent genre of crime in the English capital, so much so that City of London police have warned the public about the ongoing crypto crimewave.
Police believe that Crypto Muggers research their targets before stealing from them. Victims are seemingly known crypto investors that are active in London’s financial district. This allows the criminals to find easy known victims to digitally steal from.
One victim told police that he was offered to purchase cocaine from his assailants when they forcefully opened his phone with FaceID. Once in, they transferred £6000 of Ripple crypto to their accounts.
Another victim told police that he was mugged while trying to order an Uber. Near Liverpool Street Station, the Crypto Muggers forced to hand over his phone which resulted in the loss of £5000 in Ethereum.
Additionally, one particularly big heist saw one victim robbed of £28,700. The victim claims that he was “vomiting under a bridge” when a mugger forced him to open his phone with his fingerprint scanner before they stole his crypto.
Where decentralised markets fail
One of the issues with Crypto heists is that a Crypto transaction is a permanent affair. Unlike banking through a centralised process, there's no middle man to help you fight back against hackers or even muggers.
It’s due to issues like this that crypto hackers are so prominent within the virtual industry. Of course, while some third-party services like Binance or Coinbase can help in these instances, that would go against the purpose of a decentralised service.
Nevertheless, cryptocurrency is still quite a popular industry, despite substantial falls in value of tokens like Bitcoin and Ethereum. While massive failures like El Salvador’s crypto push are becoming common knowledge, the hard-core fanbase is still keeping the industry running.