Kidnappers have been in the business of holding people hostages for ransom for centuries. Most often, the ransom is either money or some exchange of some sorts but this time, they are interested in bitcoin. A group of kidnappers in South Africa kidnapped a 13 year old boy from a playground in the town of Witbank in the eastern province of Mpumalanga and demanded for a random of 15BTC, R1.5-million. Thankfully the boy has been found.
The kidnappers had dragged the teenager into a Toyota Corolla while he was playing with two other friends. The ransom demand for 15 BTC was to be paid before May the 27th. The random note asked that 1 BTC was paid before May the 21st, and the rest before the 27th of May and the first installment had been paid. However, Police have confirmed that the boy, Katlego Marite had been found. “I can confirm that he has been found‚” Police spokesperson from the South African Police Service, Brigadier Leonard Hlathi disclosed on Thursday.
“Police are with him as we speak.” He however said that non of Marite’s Kidnappers were with him when he was found.
The kidnappers who had left a ransom note that states; “Do not involve the police. We are monitoring all your communications and movements,” said the note. All 15 Bitcoins must be paid in full by midnight of 27 May 2018.”
The kidnappers threatened that if the Bitcoins were not paid on time, they would hang Katlego then decapitate him and send a video of his death to the parents. Unfortunately, Katlego’s parents didn’t even know about cryptocurrency and felt it was a planned job and not some random kidnapping.
Bitcoin transactions are visible on the blockchain but the user’s identity is kept anonymous. The kidnappers must have realised that anonymity can be increased by alway using fresh bitcoin addresses for incoming money and any remaining balance of an outgoing transaction. South Africans have been warned to be wary of kidnappers, although a bitcoin related kidnapping occurred in Ukraine in December with $1 million in bitcoins collected as ransom.
Do you think about the kidnappers demand for bitcoins? Share your opinion with us in the comment section below.
Image credit: iol.co
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Nile University has partnered with Cryptography Development Initiative in Nigeria (CDIN)
Abuja based tertiary institution, Nile University has partnered with the Cryptography Development Initiative in Nigeria (CDIN) to help equip students of the University with the necessary tools needed in the current digital age.
The MoU which was signed on the 15th of October, 2019 with the attendance of the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor. Dr. Osman Nuri Aras and Mr. Adeolu Fadele, the President of CDIN.
Also present were other officials of the institution such as the Deputy Vice Chancellors Professor Steve Adeshina and Professor Nurettin Can. Others from other facilities were also present.
The partnership according to the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Nuri Aras believed will help prepare the students of the University to face the digital world with the necessary tools.
Deputy Vice Chancellor – Admin, Professor Nurettin Can contributing said “the partnership with CDIN will provide the University’s students a wonderful opportunity to supplement their theoretical knowledge with valuable practical experience.”
President of CDIN Mr. Fadele Adeolu speaking on the partnership said Nile University has shown foresight in partnering with CDIN as not very many academic institutions appreciate the value of skills offered by the initiative.
“The Cryptography Development Initiative in Nigeria is a non-governmental organization and a platform for bringing stakeholders in Nigeria to work on a common interest of addressing gaps in cryptography.
According to its website CDIN envision Nigeria among nations of the world leading advancements in cryptographic innovations and breakthroughs.
It’s mission is to create a platform for encouraging the learning and practice of cryptography in Nigeria and collaboration among relevant stakeholders.
Tokyo-based Cryptocurrency Exchange Adds 5 New Altcoins to Its Europe and US Platforms
Bitflyer, a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange based in Tokyo made this announcement very recently. It recently announced the addition of new cryptocurrency offerings on its trading platforms. The five new altcoins will be added to its Europe and Us platforms. The European platform will have access to: Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Litecoin (LTC), Lisk (LSK) and Monacoin (MONA). The US customers will have immediate access to three of these coins: BCH, ETC and LTC.
Bitcoin anticipates that by adding these new Altcoins, it is expanding its buy/sell offer. This will, therefore, give its customers instant access to some of the largest altcoins in the world. These coins have already been made available to its Japanese customers. The firm admits that the response from its Japanese customers was tremendous. This is possibly a motivation for the extension of two of its most significant customer bases- US and Europe. With Bitflyer’s experience in Japan, it believes it can offer the same to its European and US customers. Its standards of simplicity, efficiency and transparency to current Bitcoin and Ethereum traders would be maintained.
Bitcoin has made efforts to upgrade its products and services. It joined forces with Tpoint Japan last month to launch a Tpoint program. This program enables users to acquire T-point rewards while making Bitcoin purchases. The T-points acquired can then be used to earn Bitcoin.
Bitflyer partnered with Sumitomo Corporation in July to transform the real estate industry in Japan. With this project, the rental customers can complete a house renting process using their smartphones. The Miyabi blockchain which is driven by smart contracts will bring about a revolution in the country’s rental processes. Thus, reducing time and administrative costs incurred in handling such issues. It is obvious that Bitflyer is out to provide service upgrades to its customers this year.
SEC Charges ICOBox & Founder for Illegal $14 million Securities Offering
The Security and Exchange Commission of the United States SEC has filed a lawsuit against ICOBox and its founder Nikolay Evdokimo for the conduct of an illegal securities offering of ICOBox’s crypto token.
The investigation which was carried out by Brent W. Wilner also charged ICOBox for acting as an unregistered broker for cryptocurrency token sales ICO.
Based on SEC press released, ICOBox in 2017 sold unregistered digital assets to the public to raised funds in order to build a platform for initial coin offerings ICO. The amount raised was from over a couple thousand investors amounting to an estimated sale of over $14 million worth of “ICOS” tokens.
It was revealed that ICOBox assured investors the token would increase in value upon trading on cryptocurrency exchanges and holders will be able to swap them at a discount for other digital asset offerings on the platform.
The assurance of ICOBox was not met as the ICOS tokens became of no worth. According to SEC, the defendant acted as a broker but failed to register as one and help to facilitate the sales of digital assets to several dozen clients who raised over $650 million.
According to Regional Director of LA Regional Office Michele Wein Layne, ICOBox and its founder, Nikolay Evdokimov ignored the registration requirements of the federal securities law and exposed investors to investments which are now virtually worthless, without providing them information that is essential to investors to making informed investment decisions.
Based on this, the SEC has charged both the platform and its founder with violating the registration requirements of the federal securities laws and seeks injunctive relief, disgorgement with prejudgment interest and civil money penalties.
The investigation was supervised by Victoria A. Levin, Alka N. Patel, and Ms. Layne of the Los Angeles Regional Office.
ICOBox described itself as “the first and the biggest new generation Blockchain Growth Promoter and Business Facilitator for companies seeking to sell their products via ICO/STO crowdsales”.
The litigation is being conducted by Amy J. Longo of the Los Angeles Regional Office, SEC revealed.
BAL Announces Partnership with French Non-For-Profit Blockchain Organization TAAL to Spread Globally Awareness on Blockchain Technology
The Blockchain African Ladies has partnered with TAAL, a French Non for profit Blockchain training hub for women. TAAL which is an acronym for Technological Association for Advanced Learning is an organization dedicated to helping people understands new technologies; promote inclusion and equity in the blockchain sector.
Blockchain African Ladies (BAL) is a non for profit educative forum that brings together African women via blockchain education. It aims to educate African ladies on the potentials and opportunities of the technology and how they can utilize it for financial inclusion.
As an organization spread across various nations in Africa, BAL wants to build stronger ladies who will bring about great innovations from the blockchain technology. From regular meet-up, workshops, conferences, mentorship programme etc, BAL seeks to raise courageous, innovative leaders in the blockchain space.
The partnership with TAAL according to BAL is to help more women to discover Blockchain technology around the globe. “It will strongly promote innovation & inclusion for women through education. The synchronous visions of both organizations to increase adoption of Blockchain technology is a great move to promote diversity in unity.”
Blockchain technology has continued to invade various aspects of the human civilization. What was once considered a buzz word few years ago has now created an industry of its own. Cryptocurrency being the first application built using the technology has and is redefining the face of commerce globally.
As the technology presents fascinating opportunities, it is imperative for individuals to exploit them for the betterment of self and state.
Blockchain Africa Ladies has continued to spread awareness on blockchain and the opportunities which it presents the African women. This is notably evident in her drive to spread the message across Africa with the Blockchain African Ladies Conference which held in Lagos and Accra few months ago.
TAAL organizes free monthly workshops to help discover new Technologies like the Blockchain. It helps members by guiding to free educational resources and of high quality to train and certify them.
Operating in Africa, Europe and America, TAAL has impact great number of women globally.