29 Dec '17, 10pm

Ukraine kidnappers release hostage after $1m bitcoin ransom paid

Kidnappers in Ukraine have released an employee at a UK-registered cryptocurrency exchange after getting more than $1m in bitcoins as a ransom, an adviser to the Ukrainian interior minister told Reuters on Friday. Pavel Lerner, a leading analyst and blockchain expert, was seized by masked abductors on Boxing Day, according to a statement by his company, EXMO Finance , on its website. “This is the first such case in Ukraine linked to bitcoins,” Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to interior minister Arsen Avakov, said in a text message. It was unclear who paid the ransom. Lerner’s work at EXMO did not involve access to the financial assets of its users, the company said, adding that the platform was operating normally. “At the moment he is safe, and there was no physical harm inflicted on him,” the statement said. “Nevertheless, Pavel is currently in a state of major stress. Th...

Full article: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/dec/29/ukraine-k...

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