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                                            BTC WALLET THEFTS

               Though he did have some bitcoins in online services, particularly since his businesses accept bitcoin
               as payment, he kept almost all his bitcoins on an encrypted hard drive. “It was essentially my
               never-sell-this-until-it-goes-to-a-billion-dollars nest egg,” he says. He had kept it offline for most of
               the past several years, but had connected that device in recent weeks to move them somewhere
               more secure and sell some. Though he had locked it with a 30-character password, the hackers
               moved the coins off. And unlike a credit card transaction, a transfer of a cryptocurrency is

               When asked how many bitcoins he lost, Kenna laughs. Confirming only that it was millions of
               dollars’ worth, he says, “I was one of the first people to actually do anything in bitcoin and I no
               longer have any bitcoin to speak of,” he says. “I’ve got, like, 60 coins or something, which is
               nothing compared to — it’s a fraction.”

               Plus, he still does not have his number back. (T-Mobile declined to discuss individual customer

               In a larger wave of bitcoin scams that have hit everyone from everyday people to hospitals, Kenna’s
               experience is only one of a spate of recent hackings of high-profile cryptocurrency industry players
               such as venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, C-level executives and others who have had their phone
               numbers hijacked, some of whom have also suffered financial losses, several of whom have been
               threatened or ransomed, and one of whom was put in physical danger.

               Their experience is part of a larger trend. In January 2013, the Federal Trade Commission received
               1,038 reports of these incidents, representing 3.2% of all identity theft reports to the FTC that
               month. By January 2016, 2,658 such incidents were filed — 6.3% of all such reports that month.
               There have been incidents involving all four of the major carriers.

               While it’s difficult to put a number on the cryptocurrency hackings, Coinbase, the highest-volume
               U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange, says it is on track to see double the number of such cases
               from November to December among its customers. Industry-wide, targets have included venture
               capitalists Adam Draper, Brock Pierce, Bo Shen and Steve Waterhouse, an unnamed executive at
               Coinbase, Gem chief executive Micah Winkelspecht, former Bitfury executive Michael Golomb,
               early Bitcoiner and entrepreneur Charlie Shrem, miner Joby Weeks, developer Joel Dietz, six
               affiliates of a decentralized prediction platform Augur, a database on the Ethereum forum, and
               others who declined to be named for fear of being further targeted.
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