Business

Derek Tonin

Blockchain startup CEO kidnapped in Ukraine: report

Gregory Kucherkov, CEO of the Cornerstone blockchain startup, has apparently been kidnapped in Kiev, Ukraine. CCN broke the news, receiving information from Cornerstone’s Chief of Operations, Fedir Matynov.

The company, which is focused on funding real estate investments through blockchain tokens, was gearing up for an initial coin offering (ICO). Now it looks like that might be tied to the motive of the kidnappers. Martynov said, “Currently Cornerstone is preparing for an ICO, and has already obtained funds, which the local police believe may be the reason of the kidnapping.”

As the kidnappers have not reached out for a ransom, it’s hard to know exactly what their demands might be. Martynov suspects they were targeted because of the potential value of their company.

CCN also found a video on Youtube, claiming to be CCTV footage of the kidnapping. In the video, a man (supposedly Kucherkov) approaches a van with blurred side windows, and is then pushed in the back by one of the alleged kidnappers. The van then takes off.

The idea behind Cornerstone is that the company would buy investment properties, and then anyone who buys tokens would have a share of the properties, and thus some of the revenue that comes from them. They had planned to sell 500 million tokens in their ICO.

Strangely though, Kiev police might not be taking the case very seriously. Marytnov said, “We want to use public opinion to help with the situation and get the attention of our police department.”

Martynov also wants to appeal to the morality of the kidnappers. He concluded, “We hope that those people realize they did do a terrible mistake and will let our friend go home safe.”

Sadly, kidnapping stories happen often enough in the cryptocurrency space. In November 2017, Turkish gang members were arrested for kidnapping and extorting Bitcoin Core (BTC) from a businessman. In April 2018, rogue policemen in India were caught doing the same thing. Just last month, a man in the Netherlands was reportedly tortured by robbers in front of his daughter for details about his crypto holdings.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as SegWitCoin BTC coins. Altcoins, which value privacy, anonymity, and distance from government intervention, are referenced as dark coins.

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