Two brothers vanish with $3.6 billion of bitcoin in what could be the biggest crypto heist in history
You stole my imaginary money!
Let's be honest; no one really understands bitcoin! Everyone has that strange kid they went to school with who now seems rich in it, yet he is still wearing torn and battered Nike Huarache's and lives in his mum's basement. The premise of Bitcoin is that as a decentralised currency, no one controls it or monitors it. However, someone probably should be monitoring it, as two brothers just vanished with $3.6 billion worth of the elusive currency.
In 2019, Ameer Cajee and his younger brother, Raees Cajee, founded crypto investment app Africrypt. Then, emboldened by 69,000 bitcoin, which is estimated to be worth around $4 billion, they vanished.
In April, Ameer informed users of the app that their accounts had been hacked and all funds compromised. However, he insisted that they not report the issue as this would obstruct the recovery of their bitcoin. A few customers did report the incident despite being warned not to.
The Independent online states that Hanekom Attorneys attempted to track the brothers down but contacted a special unit in South Africa. Enter the Hawks, who, besides having a really cool name, deal specifically with corruption.
Bloomberg reported on the incident and also revealed emails sent by Hanekom Attorneys:
"We were immediately suspicious as the announcement implored investors not to take legal action.
"Africrypt employees lost access to the back-end platforms seven days before the alleged hack."
"By now, it is clear that cryptocurrencies are speculative assets rather than money, and in many cases are used to facilitate money laundering, ransomware attacks, and other financial crimes," said the Bank for International Settlements
The two brothers are still missing, but the rising issue of cryptocurrencies has puzzled the world. One thing is for certain; crypto is becoming an increasingly present currency and needs sturdy regulation behind it. Which I realise defeats the entire purpose of it.