Crime related to cryptocurrencies has increased recently in Spain. The most recent incident is the case of a stolen Bitcoin ATM in Barcelona.
Related reading | Data shows that crypto hacks and fraud are on the way to a new record in 2021
Bitcoin ATMs are kiosks that allow a person to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies using cash or a debit card. According to this website, Spain has the highest number of crypto ATMs in Europe. With 185 ATMs, it is also the fourth tallest in the world.
Bitcoin ATM theft
Local news reported Friday that Spanish police are investigating the theft of a Bitcoin ATM. The thieves stole the machine during a raid on a cryptocurrency exchange in an affluent area of Barcelona. Catalonia Police, Mossos d’Esquadra, said the ATM theft happened around 3 a.m. However, they did not disclose any further information about the case in order not to obstruct the investigation.
According to the news agency, thieves are said to have taken the ATM from a shop on Beethovenstrasse in the Sarria area. The area is home to a branch of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). GBTC reportedly declined to comment, and police also refused to confirm the exact location of the robbery.
BTC trading at $64.16K | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com
An unchecked video that has emerged showed an SUV crashing into the GBTC store front. Then some masked people from another car made off with the ATM.
This incident is just the latest of the Bitcoin-related crimes in Spain. A few days ago a Spanish tech preneur reported that he had been robbed. Zaryn Dentzel, the victim, is the co-founder of Tuenti, a Spanish communications company that has become a social network and is owned by the telecommunications company Telefónica.
He claimed four or five hooded people stole millions of euros worth of crypto from his Madrid home. They blindfolded him, covered his house with surveillance cameras, and beat him up. He was then forced to give up the password for an online account with his cryptocurrencies, which contained tens of millions of euros in Bitcoin. However, the thieves failed to steal his cryptos.
Crypto crime on the rise
Crypto attacks are rarely rare. They’re happening more often than most people think, mostly through hacks, phishing scams, ransom attacks, and fake advertising. Some of the most popular attacks this year are the $ 600 million poly network attack and the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack.
Related reading | More than $ 5 billion paid in BTC in the top 10 ransomware variants, says the U.S. Treasury Department
According to the US Treasury Department, the total value of suspected ransomware payments in the first half of 2021 was $ 590 million. Also, about $ 5.2 billion in outbound BTC payments was tied to the top 10 ransomware variants over the past three years.
Many bitcoin crimes have also been recorded in the UK, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand, to name a few.
Featured image by Coin ATM Finder, Chart from TradingView.com