Cryptocurrency’s Top Shelf Investors Up Their Personal Security as a Means of Risk Prevention
The amount of those who have gotten wealthy from cryptocurrency has significantly increased. Interestingly enough, their newfound wealth has also upped the need for improved and more frequent personal securities.
One particular cryptocurrency executive who has a team of personal bodyguards is Tadas Kasputis. He founded CoinStructure and ExMarkets Cryptoexchange. In 2015, he was kidnapped. He shared some words about the experience, stating
“Yes, actually I was kidnapped in my hometown Kaunas city in Lithuania. They came out of nowhere, pushed me into a van and drove around town trying to get me to tell them my bitcoin wallet passwords. Their plan did not work and they're now facing charges in Lithuanian court. That was the only time it happened, but it was enough.”
Due to the kidnapping, Kasputis decided to
“put extra security measures to protect me and my family.”
He did not discuss just how much protection he decided to get. Also, interestingly enough, he is not the only one who has upped his security.
For example, Anthony Di Lorio has also done so. In an interview with Fortune, he discussed that he had walked around Manhattan with a private bodyguard. As he stated,
“Being my own bank, there are consequences – I’m at risk.”
Another crypto executive, Charlie Lee, stated that he has his own
“head of security.”
Further, Jeff Berwick also has his own security detail. He stated,
“For my entire life I've deemed it my own duty to supply protection to myself and my family. For that reason, aside from being a trained fighter and often armed, I always utilize private security services in one way or another. I would never, under any circumstance, leave my security up to a centrally planned, communist style, bureaucratic and slow, dog killing, kidnapping and extortion racket like government police.”
On the bodyguard side, some have also stated that there is increasing demand from those in the crypto industry. Spetsnaz Security International, a UK-based firm, shared with Cointelegraph that it does have clients in the industry. The security firm’s director, Fidel Matola stated
“I do provide bodyguard services for individuals who work in the cryptocurrency industry.”
Interestingly enough, those who utilize security services seem to be concentrated in countries outside of Eastern Europe and Russia. As Kaputis stated
“I don't know the statistics and aren't too concerned about them. Perhaps the cases are more common in Eastern Europe right now, but the cryptocurrency penetration and popularity in this region are also higher than, say, in South America, right? Maybe the geographical scope will change.”
Of course, it is challenging to come out with a conclusive position, especially with the lack of statistics.
Berwick, on one hand, believes that the United States is more dangerous than Eastern Europe. But the danger is not particularly due to the cryptocurrency industry, but general crime. He opined
“The most dangerous place in the world, in my opinion, is the US. Nearly everyone in the US gets extorted for half the money they make every year and are extorted on thousands of other items as well. When not being extorted they live in the world's largest police state where most people at one point or another are kidnapped and thrown into rape camps [prisons]. I try to avoid going to the US for this reason.”
There are conditions that may be able to mitigate the need for security services, though. One of the most prevalent conditions, perhaps, is normalization of the cryptocurrency industry. When requirements roll out for licensing standards. Once the industry becomes more normalized, threats to crypto executives may decrease as well.