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Crypto has claimed many victims in 2018, so I thought I’d take a look at the darker side of Bitcoin.

#1 Bitcoin Suicide

In March 2018 a young Russian Bitcoin blogger named Pavel Nyashin, who had become a millionaire thanks to cryptocurrency took his own life.  Pavel had a YouTube channel with nearly 20,000 followers and was running a consultancy for people that wanted to get in to crypto.

© pavelnyashin © Instagram

Nyahsin had been boasting and showing off large piles of cash on social media that led to him being located, beaten, and robbed of 24 million rubles (approximately $360k)

Soon after Pavel became depressed and was found dead in his apartment.  He was just 23 years old.

#2 Crypto Kidnap

In May of 2018, 13 year old Katlego Marite was kidnapped whilst playing outside. This was part of a bizarre crypto-ransom in South Africa.

The kidnappers were demanding that a 15 BTC (at the time $120k) ransom was to be paid for his safe release.

Fortunately this story has a happy ending, as the teenager was  found after CCTV footage evidence emerged that led to his   whereabouts.  What made this story a bizarre though is the unusual fact that his parents didn’t even know what crypto currency was, nor where they particularly wealthy.


#3 Crypto Killer

Getting towards the end of the year, and in October 2018 a man was murdered in Norway after a suspected Bitcoin trade went south.

An unnamed 24 year old Norwegian man was found brutally stabbed in an affluent area of Oslo called Majorstuen.

This happened after the man had allegedly tried selling Bitcoin to his killer for cash.  Whilst accounts vary, the general consensus is that the man was trying to sell large quantities of Bitcoin under the radar without tax officials seeing what he was doing.

This was reinforced by the police who found a large pile of Norwegian Krone  (NOK) in his studio apartment, prompting the theory that he was killed for the money. One of the roommates of the deceased said that he had successfully siphoned off over $100k worth of Bitcoin from his investments, and that he was aiming to save up and buy an apartment.

But alas, the poor cunt never got his flat, and now he’s hodling worms 6ft under ….. (sorry, that’s bad taste, for all I know he was cremated!)

#4 Crypto HODLERS 

Last but not least there’s the good old crypto hodlers. People that have weathered the storm from January to December witnessing the market cap shrink from $828bn to $107bn.

But who is accountable for this massive downturn? Is it our own fault? Was it our own greed that caused the 2018 crypto recession? Or was there something more sinister at play? Are we in fact victims of something bigger?

One proponent is that of the joint venture Bitcoin ETF application between money management veterans VanEck and blockchain startup Solid X.  Each time the decision is delayed by the SEC the price of Bitcoin takes a sharp downturn.  This once again  happened today after the SEC announced late last night that it is going to exercise its final right to delay the ETF proposal until the 27th of February 2018.  To me this dance between VanEck, Solid X and the SEC is blatant manipulation, and it wouldn’t surprise me if all the entities involved have colluded together to keep driving down the price.

Now before you go reaching for the tinfoil to fashion a hat, let me just remind you that between 1933 and 1974 it was illegal to own Gold in the United States without the correct licence.

During this time, the US Government accumulated fuck loads of the shiny metal stuff, and all the people that held gold illegally had it confiscated.  Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are arguably unconfiscatable, as it is your choice to give up your private keys. However the problem with this “unconfiscatability” lies in whether the authorities can link you to an address, after which point you may find yourself in a situation where you need to trade your private keys for your freedom.

As such, I believe there’s probably a huge amount of government level corruption at play to lower the prices. Thus forcing people to part with their crypto via panic selling in 2018 so that they can take control of the market.  Need more proof?  Just take a look at this headline from a coindesk article published in February 2018  that says “US Marshals Successfully Auction $30 Million of Bitcoin”. Now lets thing about this logically. It makes no sense for US Marshals to auction off Bitcoin at a lower price. If the true purpose was to raise money from criminal gains, it would make more sense to sell it at the current market rate. Then there’s the elephant in the room in the second paragraph, that starts with “An Unknown Winner Received 1600 Bitcoin”  Hmmmm, that’s fishy as fuck, and begs the question “did the US government keep it?” Oh and they also kept hold of 100 BTC for good measure.

However, there’s a plot twist.  What if it isn´t just governments attempting to control the market? In an article on Coin Telegraph published today entitled:-

“Bitmain, Roger Ver, Kraken Sued for Alleged Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork Manipulation” 

It mentions that a lawsuit is being filed against private companies in the crypto space accused of attempting to centralise the Bitcoin Cash network.   But in a further twist, megalomaniac Dr Craig Wright stated a few weeks prior on the popular shit haircut youtube channel operated by Tone Vayes (no offence Tone, keep rocking those baseball caps).  That he would drive the prices down with his hashing power dominance to force his arch nemesis Jihan Wu of Bitmain into bankruptcy, simply because “he doesn’t like him”.

Whoever is to blame for the bear market, one thing is certain.  We are facing the real risk that cryptocurrency is both very centralised and incredibly delicate which is spooking would be new investors.  So with blood being spilled in more ways than one now, it shows that the crypto space has transformed massively in the last 12 months. Leaving me to wonder, what will the next 12 months hold?