Crypto expert kidnapped, had to pay $1 million BTC ransom

$1 million in Bitcoin paid when cryptocurrency expert was kidnapped.

Published Sat, Dec 30 2017 6:35 PM CST   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 11:53 AM CST

Pavel Lerner was kidnapped earlier this week, with a gang wearing ski masks taking the cryptocurrency expert near his office in the Ukraine.

Crypto expert kidnapped, had to pay $1 million BTC ransom |

Lerner was held against his will, with the kidnappers demanding he pay them $1 million in Bitcoin as ransom. Lerner is a big Bitcoin expert in his country, doubling as an executive at Exmo, a large cryptocurrency exchange.

We don't know if Lerner transferred the $1 million in BTC himself, but he was released in the end. Exmo has said that the kidnappers didn't breach their network, and that the cryptocurrency exchange and their coins are "absolutely safe.

As for the $1 million in BTC that the kidnappers transferred, they're most likely shifted through the entire Bitcoin network, or could've been sold and the kidnappers are enjoying their money. Whatever has happened, this is the future of crime: cryptocurrency is easier to withdraw from victims' accounts than money.


Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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