While cryptocurrency is certainly used on a daily basis for legitimate reasons, there is also the issue of cryptocurrency being used for criminal purposes. This includes extortion, money laundering and its use on the darknet for criminal purposes. This has led to stricter regulations around cryptocurrency such as know-your-customer requirements and anti-money laundering measures but it seems that in anyway criminals can make use of cryptocurrency to carry all the activities, they will attempt to despite the best efforts of law enforcement.
A mail bomber in the Netherlands has demanded a ransom in cryptocurrency in order to stop their activities.
This follows an incident on February 12, 2020, in which two bombs were detonated within hours of each other in the Netherlands. The first one was detonated at an ABN Amro bank in Amsterdam in the morning after a postal worker threw the package away after hearing strange noises.
“The colleague who was sorting the mail heard a hissing sound, and threw the package away,” Mr. van der Varst said.
The second package went off in a border town later in the day named Kerkrade and had been mailed to a local Japanese electronics store called Ricoh.
Fortunately, no one was injured in either explosion but both were sent with notes demanding payment in bitcoin to avoid any further bombings. The police have not revealed just how much bitcoin was demanded but this draws parallels to the jumbo supermarket bomber in 2015 who also demanded payment in bitcoin. So far, police believe that both incidences are linked.
“It’s fair to say that all of these are connected because the same demand was made[…] But we still don’t know who sent it. We are still investigating,” said Amsterdam police spokeswoman Lex van Liebergen.
This sort of incident goes a long way to cast a negative image of cryptocurrency and the crypto industry as there are some who have already dismissed it as only currency for criminals over the Internet. Should crypto become the tool of choice or criminals seeking ransom money, it could do more damage to crypto’s public image.