Prominent Russian Blockchain Expert Kidnapped Days Before Hackers Targeted His Bitcoin Exchange

Missing

Mr Lerner is a prominent Russian blockchain expert and the news of his kidnapping has stunned many in the global cryptocurrency community.

Pavel Lerner, a leading analyst and blockchain expert, was abducted by unknown masked people on December 26, according to a statement by his company, EXMO Finance, on its website.

"We are doing everything possible to speed up the search of Pavel Lerner".

Pavel Lerner is a citizen of Russian Federation, and also holds a Polish residence permit.

"Pavel holds a role of a leading analyst at EXMO, and is a blockchain expert who leads an array of personal blockchain startup projects not related to the operations of the EXMO platform". According to Reuters, the managing director of EXMO cryptocurrency exchange was taken by masked men close to his office in Kiev.

"At the moment, he is safe, and there was no physical harm inflicted on him", the company's website states.


Lerner's kidnapping is the first of its kind for a cryptocurrency exchange, and his ransom is the first recorded instance of high-crime extortion aimed at a major exchange. Nevertheless, Pavel is now in a state of major stress, therefore, he will not provide any official comments in the coming days.

The abduction is under investigation by security authorities in the country, Exmo said.

We would also like to point out that Pavel's activity at EXMO did not involve an access to financial assets of our users.

EXMO has offered thanks to the media and cryptographic money group for their support of the organization and Lerner amid this time. Before he was released, the speculations were that the kidnappers might be after the access to the reserve fund of EXMO.

To add insult to injury, on Thursday, the day Lerver was released, Exmo announced that its servers were under a DDoS attack, and out of service as a result. In any case, it is likely that the hoodlums have officially sold their bitcoins because of the way that the market is somewhat unstable right now, and clutching them for a really long time could mean a diminishing in value.

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