The police shared more information about mail bombs sent to different businesses in the Netherlands since late last year on Opsporing Verzocht on Tuesday evening. Investigators hope that information from the public can help them find the perpetrator behind these explosive letters.
The Tax Authority's investigative department FIOD arrested two men in separate investigations into money laundering using cryptocurrency. Roughly a half-million euros in cryptocurrency, fiat cash, and gold was seized in the two cases, the tax investigation agency FIOD said on Tuesday.
The suspects, both arrested on Monday, mainly used bitcoin, but other digital currencies were also used, AD reports based on information from the Public Prosecution Service.
Two mail bombs which exploded in Amsterdam and Kerkrade earlier on Wednesday were part of an extortion plot where the sender demanded an undisclosed amount of bitcoin. The demand was made with the promise that, if paid, the sender would stop distributing the explosives, police said in a statement.
The amount involved was not revealed so the information could be used against any eventual suspect, police said.
Hackers that infected Maastricht University's network with ransomware were in the network for over two months before they attacked, was revealed in the forensic investigation into the attack. "They first mapped out the network in order to be able to roll out the ransomware as well as possible," security expert Frank Groenenweg of Fox-IT, who was involved in the investigation, said to NOS.
Tjeerd H., a 39-year-old bitcoin trader who was robbed and tortured in his home in Drouwenerveen last year, was assaulted, water boarded, had holes drilled in his leg and foot, and hung from his neck, he said in a video Dagblad van het Noorden has in its possession.
The Dutch and British police arrested a total of six suspects on Tuesday in an investigation into the theft of at least 24 million euros in cryptocurrency, EU agency Eurojust, who helped in the investigation, announced. According to the agency, the suspects stole bitcoin from at least four thousand victims in 12 different countries.
A 33-year-old man from Apeldoorn was arrested on Monday for fraud, forgery and money laundering. According to the authorities, he earned at least 2 million euros by convincing people to invest in Bitcoin mining computers that he never bought, De Gelderlander reports.
Fraudulent bitcoin investment advertisements using fake quotes from Dutch celebrities are becoming an increasingly prevalent problem in the Netherlands, the Fraud Help Desk told broadcaster NOS. People who fall for these scams are promised large profits on their "investment", but never see a cent.
Dutch consumers' enthusiasm for cryptocurrency fell sharply over the past year, the Dutch authority on financial markets AFM said in a report published on Wednesday. The authority attributes the decreased enthusiasm to large price falls in the crypto market this year, NU.nl report.
Multiple Amsterdam businesses received an email threatening them with hand grenades or shootings if they do not pay 50 thousand euros in bitcoins to the sender. The police confirmed that multiple reports of this email have been received and they are investigating, AT5 reports.
The email, which is in the possession of AT5, was sent to at least three coffeeshops and Club ABE on Amstelstraat since May this year. The writer refers to the municipality of Amsterdam's policy to close businesses after a shooting or an explosive was found there.
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A man was scammed out of 26 bitcoins in an Amsterdam hotel on Thursday. He was approached online by someone who wanted to buy 26 bitcoins from him for 180 thousand euros in cash, around 24 thousand more than the bitcoins were worth at that time. But the money he was paid turned out to be fake, the police said on Facebook.
The man agreed to meet the bitcoin buyers in an Amsterdam hotel. They showed him the cash, and he transferred the bitcoins to them. Once the transaction was done, the scammers handed over the bag of cash and left.
The Public Prosecutor demanded 5 years in prison against a 38-year-old British man accused of laundering around 11.5 million euros in bitcoins between 2014 and 2016. The money likely came from the illegal trade in drugs and other prohibited goods on darkweb markets, the Public Prosecutor said on Wednesday.
Dutch company Koinz Trading was declared bankrupt by the court of Amsterdam on Wednesday. The company, which offered customers access bitcoin mining machines and cryptocurrency investments, is facing dozens of customers demanding compensation for damages, the Telegraaf reports.
Customers never received access to the mining machines they invested in, and therefore also not the Bitcoins they could've mined, according to the newspaper. Lawyer Marco Kalmijn told the Telegraaf that around 60 customers are trying to recover "many millions" from Koinz Trading.
Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have nothing to do with the "real economy" and are more like Pokemon cards than they are currency, Stephane Boujnah of Euronext stock exchange said in an interview with Bloomberg.
Euronext, the operator of trading platforms in Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris, among others, will not create a market platform for cryptocurrencies, he said.
Late last week the police tracked down two bitcoin miners that were stolen from Eindhoven in a home in Vlijmen. A man was arrested for the possession of stolen property, the police announced in a statement on Wednesday.
A bitcoin miner is a powerful computer used to approve global transactions in the bitcoin network. Owners who use their computers for bitcoin mining, are rewarded in the form of bitcoin or other cryptocurrency.
Despite being called a currency, Bitcoin lacks many of the very important characteristics that currencies have, Steven Maijoor, chairman of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), said in an interview with Bloomberg. The extreme volatility of the biggest cryptocurrency alone undermines its use as an actual currency, and it is also not broadly accepted, Dutch man said.
Bitcoin's value fell about 25 percent on Tuesday. Since touching 20 thousand dollars on December 17th, the cryptocurrency's value dropped over 49 percent.
Dutch investors association VEB warns investors against companies that are using the cryptocurrency hype to attract investors and boost share prices by adding "bitcoin" or "blockchain" to their name. According to the association, this is very reminiscent of the dotcom bubble, when companies added '.com' to their names to suddenly increase their share prices without actually changing the company fundamentally, accountant.nl reports.
The Netherlands' Fraud Helpdesk is noticing a considerable increase in the number of fraud reports revolving around cryptocurrency Bitcoin. There are no exact figures yet about how many people reported Bitcoin fraud to the helpdesk, but that this type of fraud is increasingly common is very clear, Tanya Wijngaarden of the helpdesk said to BNR.
A new analyst note produced by investment bank Morgan Stanley suggests that the world’s most used cryptocurrencies will consume significantly more energy globally than the entire amount of electricity produced in the Netherlands this year. As much as 140 terawatt-hours of electricity will be used in the cryptocurrency field next year, speculates analyst Nicholas Ashworth in a memo published on Wednesday.
Clients of the self-proclaimed "biggest Bitcoin factory of the Netherlands" have launched court proceedings against Koinz Trading, considered one of the first Dutch businesses to trade in Bitcoin. Based in Lelystad, the company is now facing off against a client who accuses them of fraud.
The client's attorney, Marco Kalmijn, believes others are planning to press legal action as well. He accuses the companies of giving excuse after excuse instead of contractual payments, Kalmijn told the Volkskrant.
Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance warned Dutch investors about the risks involved in trading in Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. The price of the largest cryptocurrencies plummeted last week.
The Finance Ministers of France and Germany are calling for the world's top economic powers to debate Bitcoin and cryptocurrency regulation at the G20 summit in Argentina next year. The Netherlands does not form part of the G20 - the 20 largest economies in the world - but was invited to participate in the summit by host country Argentina.
Bitcoin fever is reaching great heights in the Netherlands. Over the first nine months of this year trading platform BTC Direct registered 44 thousand bitcoin transactions by Dutch customers in which a total of over 25 million euros was spent, buying 11 thousand bitcoins, AD reports.