A bitcoin-owning Swedish couple was recently the latest victim of robbers that appear to target prominent bitcoin and crypto personalities. One social media user said the spate of robberies may be linked to Sweden’s antiquated privacy laws which make it easy for criminals to obtain tax records and residence details of targeted individuals.
Victims Publicly Associated With Bitcoin
The robbers, who appear to target prominent Swedish bitcoin and crypto personalities, recently descended on the Stockholm residence of a middle-aged bitcoin-owning couple. According to a report in Aftonbladet, the four robbers physically assaulted, tied up, and even used knives to threaten the couple. The report added that one victim of the robbery had to be ferried to the hospital via ambulance helicopter.
The attack on the unidentified couple is said to be the third time that criminals attacked just days after the victims either live-streamed a bitcoin podcast or “mentioned bitcoin in a public context.” In the first known attack, which occurred in 2022, a Swedish bitcoiner was also physically assaulted and abused despite surrendering their crypto. The traumatic experience is said to have left the bitcoiner scarred for months.
The robbers are also said to have used similar tactics in another home invasion that was reported in October.
Meanwhile, in a post on X (formerly Twitter), social media user Erica Wall linked the attacks to Sweden’s Offentlighetsprincipen or The Principle of Public Access to Information. According to Wall, this law, which is without precedent, “makes residential addresses and tax records public.”
there's now officially a situation in sweden
this monday, a middle-aged swedish couple was tied up in their home and robbed by 4 masked men. they were physically abused and threatened with their own kitchen knives. they were tied up for hours and one had to be escorted to the…
— Erica Wall (@ercwl) November 8, 2023
The social media user suggested that the criminals are able to obtain the targeted victims’ residence details or tax records courtesy of this law. While acknowledging the rationale behind enacting such a law, Wall insisted that such legislation has no place in modern society.
“Sweden is probably one of the least safe countries to be active in the cryptocurrency sector at the moment. I’ve personally left Sweden and I don’t expect to return until the laws around personal privacy change,” the social media user wrote.
Reacting to Wall’s post, Jameson Lopp, the co-founder and CTO of Casa, said one of the robbery incidents highlights the importance of having a wallet with minimal amounts of crypto or the so-called “duress wallet.” Lopp also said crypto holders should avoid being known as the “Bitcoin guy.”
However, social media user Norbet shot down this suggestion because a “criminal can look up how wealthy you are in public records.” Another user B Dawah-Muaawiyah Tucker went further:
“The issue with a duress wallet is that there’s no guarantee that it would save your life. How many people get tortured for information they don’t have and die because they don’t give what they don’t have.”
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