A 37-year-old male dealer attempting to capitalize on the surge of Bitcoin was robbed of round HK$3 million in money — the worth of 15 bitcoins — and two cell phones, minutes after being lured into in-person transaction of the cryptocurrency.
The incident comes as extra merchants who wish to keep away from the effort of paying the service charge of on-line Bitcoin transactions select to promote bitcoins in particular person.
A gang of six South Asian males of their 30s stay at massive after fleeing on Tai Tam Street, Chai Wan in two automobiles.
The dealer surnamed Lee was left empty-handed, after the suspects ran away with HK$3 million money that they pretended to pay him and Lee’s 15 bitcoins price HK$235,000 every have been transferred to bitcoin pockets, in response to police.
Lee instructed police that he was picked up by two South Asian males posing as patrons in a white automotive outdoors a lodge in North Level round 5pm on Monday.
He was then pushed to Chai Wan, throughout which he transferred 15 bitcoins to the duo on his cell phones, whereas the pair handed him HK$3 million in money.
However as Lee was counting his proceeds, the automotive pulled over on a hillside close to Shan Tsui Court docket on Tai Tam Street.
Shortly afterwards, a black automotive arrived and 4 South Asian males jumped into the white automotive, snatched the banknotes and two cell phones earlier than fleeing the scene within the black automotive.
Later, the 2 patrons shouted at Lee: “Cash is gone, get off my automotive!” and kicked him out of the automotive earlier than driving away.
The incident got here to gentle at round 8pm when Lee walked for about 5 minutes and approached a police officer on the close by Hing Man Property on Tai Tam Street.
Lee was not injured as police combed Hing Man Property late Monday night however to no avail.
The six suspects remained at massive as of final night time.
The case has been categorised as theft and is being investigated by the Japanese District Crime Squad.
Lee, who has been a full-time Bitcoin dealer for seven years, agreed to make the transaction with the 2 patrons by way of WeChat at 1pm Monday.
He had additionally traded his bitcoins with the 2 for HK$1 million on-line Sunday night time.
In 2018, a 34-year-old native male purchaser was robbed of HK$1.4 million in money following an in-person Bitcoin transaction hoax in North Level.
Buying and selling bitcoins in particular person has grow to be in style just lately, by which the client will make clear the suitable currencies, banknotes and fee types with merchants beforehand, as banks are extra aggressively appearing in opposition to Bitcoin corporations.
Different means to buy bitcoins, together with by means of a Bitcoin ATM, a “Bitcoin Pockets” that may be downloaded on telephones and computer systems and exchanges, are additionally in style.
The worth of Bitcoin has surged 5 instances in lower than a yr and hit an all-time excessive final Christmas and early this month.
At midnight yesterday, the value per bitcoin broke by means of US$31,000 (HK$ 240,335), in response to CryptoCompare, a web site that discusses the worth of varied cryptocurrencies.
About 18.5 million out of a complete of 21 million bitcoins have been mined and all of the bitcoins can be snapped up by 2040.
As soon as all of the bitcoins have been mined, patrons will nonetheless be incentivized to course of transactions with charges.