UK Bitcoin Exchange CEO Kidnapped in Ukraine

The chief executive of UK-based bitcoin exchange EXMO has reportedly been kidnapped in Ukraine.

Pavel Lerner, 40, was leaving his office in Kiev on December 26 when he was pulled into a black Mercedes-Benz by a group of balaclava-wearing men, according to a local media report.

Lerner is the managing director of EXMO, a UK-based bitcoin exchange that processes about $100 million worth of trades on a daily basis, according to CoinMarketCap. Though based in the UK, EXMO’s most popular trading pairs are against the US dollar and the Russian ruble.

uk bitcoin exchange
Photo from Pavel Lerner’s Facebook Page

EXMO has not discussed the incident on its blog or social media channels, but the Telegraph reports that the company told a Russian broadcaster that the kidnapping would not affect the exchange’s day-to-day operations.

“We are doing everything possible to speed up the search of Pavel Lerner,” the statement said. “Any information regarding his whereabouts is very much appreciated. Despite the situation, the exchange is working as usual. We also want to stress that nature of Pavel’s job at EXMO doesn’t assume access either to storages or any personal data of users. All users funds are absolutely safe.”

On Dec. 28, EXMO revealed that it was suffering from a DDOS attack, but it is not currently known whether the two incidents are related.

Lerner’s kidnapping comes just weeks after a New York man allegedly stole $1.8 million in ether after kidnapping an unnamed victim and forcing them at gunpoint to hand over their mobile phone and private keys.

Authorities have not revealed the motive behind Lerner’s kidnapping, but both of these incidents highlight the inherent risks of “being your own bank.”

Individuals who are associated with cryptocurrency services like Lerner are obvious targets for nefarious individuals, as criminals may believe they can force them to transfer funds from company wallets.

However, as the earlier case demonstrates, ordinary cryptocurrency users are at risk, too, especially if they have publicly-revealed the size of their holdings or the fact that they invested in the markets at an early date.

Consequently, users may want to consider concealing their wealth from their family members, friends, and — most importantly — social media profiles.

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London to host the ICO conference – ICO Event London 2017

ico event

In October, London will host the major conference, ICO Event London 2017, dedicated to a popular investment generation tool called Initial Coin Offering.
The event will involve blockchain and cryptocurrency experts, venture investors, lawyers and startup founders, raising a great startup capital due to the ICO.

ICO Event London 2017

ICO Event London 2017 is one of the first major events dedicated to the new investment method. Not coincidentally, London has been selected to host this event: it is a center of investments and financial hub with a plenty of young companies.

Analysts call the UK a highly active state on the cryptocurrency and ICO market. One has established here a regulatory environment for testing fintech projects, while the blockchain potential is officially recognized by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

However, legislation in this sector is still far cry from perfection, and startup founders, planning to launch the ICO, should consult lawyers. According to Smile-Expo, an organizer known by its Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference network, the event will be useful both in the context of ICO implementation and from a perspective of investors. The platform will allow to establish a dialogue between successful project teams and to conduct an analysis of mistakes. Experts will tell the audience about legal details and factors that should be taking into account while choosing where to invest.

Guests will be able not only to talk to speakers but also to attend the exhibition area, presenting services related with the ICO implementation, cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Exhibitors will include IT developers, cryptocurrency exchanges, investment platforms and payment systems.

Details about event preparations – https://goo.gl/J42WPz