Armed robbers raided the home of a City trader and forced him to transfer his Bitcoin fortune to them.
Four thugs wearing balaclavas stormed Danny Aston’s £800,000 converted barn in rural Oxfordshire.
They held Mr Aston, 30, at gunpoint as they tied up his girlfriend Amy Jay, 31, and put the couple’s child outside in a buggy.
They then made Mr Aston transfer his holding of Bitcoin – a cyber currency currently worth £8,000 per coin – to them on his computer in what is thought to be the first raid of its kind in Britain.
Detectives believe the robbers, who were still being hunted last night, knew about his fortune because of his prolific trading accounts on the internet.On just one account, Mr Aston has carried out more than 100,000 trades with 16,375 people in less than three years. He is considered a ‘trusted’ trader by more than 3,000 users. It is not known how much he was forced to transfer.
Bitcoin exists only in cyberspace and can be exchanged anonymously at the click of a mouse. It is then exchanged for normal money. It is favoured by criminals because it cannot be tracked by officials, making it difficult to catch thieves and money-launderers.
The family have been in hiding since the raid last Monday morning at their home in Moulsford, where several episodes of Midsomer Murders have been filmed.