Israel: 8 Years in Prison for Stealing DASH Coins Worth $6.8 Million

Afek Zard – an Israeli resident – will spend the next eight years behind bars for stealing 75,000 DASH coins worth 22 million Shekels or roughly $7 million from a close friend. Apart from the jail time, the man will pay a fine of $1.5 million and compensation to the victim for $80,000.

Beware of Friends When Dealing with Crypto

The Be’er Sheva District Court sent to prison for 8 years the 27-year-old Afek Zard, who embezzled 75,000 digital coins worth around $6.8 million. Somewhat surprisingly, the victim of the man was a friend.

According to the authorities, Zard – who has had experience with cryptocurrency investments – was a regular guest at his friend’s house and even had his own key. Unfortunately for the victim, the criminal took advantage of that friendship and one day hacked his computer and stole the details of his digital wallet that included 75,000 DASH coins.

By the time of the crime, the amount of cryptocurrency was worth about $6.8 million as a single unit of DASH traded at $82.5. Following the investigation, Zard denied all charges against him and refused to give passwords to his own computer and cell phone. Thus, the police investigators were unable to confiscate the stolen assets.

However, Judge Yoel Eden ruled that Zard’s testimony was not trustworthy and that he is indeed guilty. The court convicted him of several crimes such as hacking into computer material, money laundering, fraud offense under the Income Tax Ordinance, and aggravated theft.


The prosecution, in fact, demanded at least 12 years in prison for Zard as this is a serious crime involving a new type of currencies. However, his lawyer – Giora Hazan – managed to reduce his sentence to eight years by claiming:

“Although this is a new platform on which the offense was committed, the damage caused to the compliant is ‘normal and old’ damage, just as it would have been if the defendant had entered the compliant’s house and stolen many tens of millions of shekels.”

Besides the years behind bars, Zard will have to pay a fine of $1.5 million and compensate his “friend” with around $80,000.

Stealing Crypto over a Glass of Wine

As CryptoPotato reported, a similar story happened in Malta last month. This time, though, the two men were not at home but in a restaurant.

While having their lunch, the accused – 25-year-old Luke John Milton – urged the 27-year-old victim Dillon Attard to make a $6,000 blockchain investment on his phone. While observing, the latter sensed something was wrong and snatched his device from the accused only to see that his crypto worth $700,000 has turned zero as apparently the former diverted the funds to another wallet.

When the police arrived, Milton tried to shift the blame claiming he was the victim of the fraud. However, when the Financial Crimes Investigation Department (FCID) required both men to hand over their phones, the accused became agitated and refused to do it.

The case is scheduled to continue on August 11th. Interestingly, Milton denied revealing his password to his phone, and police officers were considering hiring experts from abroad that could unlock the device and thus help to solve the issue.


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MicroStrategy and Bitcoin mining stocks rally as BTC price rebounds

Bitcoin (BTC) price soared to a 3 month high at $46,293 after bulls confirmed that they intend to take full control of the market. While crypto traders might be in the green again and pro traders are looking to add larger leveraged positions, no every class of investors to obtain direct exposure to Bitcoin. 

For institutional investors, a fund administrator sets the rules for what percentage of the portfolio is invested in various asset classes and different companies have varying appetites for risk. Reasons investors may be piling into these assets versus simply holding BTC include the aforementioned restrictions and the regulatory uncertainty surrounding the purchase of Bitcoin directly.

Because of this, a number of entities are restricted from investing directly in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies but there are other ways to obtain exposure to the crypto sector. 

Companies that specialize in Bitcoin mining have also generated immense profits and a handful are listed and can be an off-set play for investors looking to gain some exposure to BTC in their stock portfolios. 

The recent miner crackdown in China has led to a more distributed mining network and prompted several rounds of fundraising and expansion for listed Bitcoin mining companies that could potentially benefit from the reshaping of Bitcoin’s global mining network that is likely to continue for years to come. Here’s a few listed companies that offer investors exposure to Bitcoin.

MicroStrategy’s bet on Bitcoin provides a boost

The software company MicroStrategy (MSTR) and its CEO Michael Saylor have become well known across the cryptocurrency sector for his wild support for Bitcoin as a store of value and the massive amount of BTC the company purchased in the last year.

Along with helping educate the world about the promise of Bitcoin and blockchain technology, MicroStrategy has amassed a Bitcoin portfolio in excess of 105,000 BTC in its treasury as a way to hedge against inflation.

As a result, MicroStrategy’s stock price has become somewhat correlated with the price performance of BTC and it has been observed moving in tandem with the top cryptocurrency.

MSTR/USD 1-day chart. Source: TradingView

As seen in the chart above, the price of MSTR reached a low of $474 on July 20, the same day as the low in Bitcoin, and has since increased 65% to trade at $781.

Bitcoin mining stocks soar

Listed companies that specialize in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining have also benefited from the price growth in BTC.

Perhaps the most well-known Bitcoin mining firm is Riot Blockchain, a company that operates warehouses full of ASIC miners to help process transactions on the network in return for BTC rewards.

RIOT/USD 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Since hitting a low at $23.86 on July 20, the price of RIOT has increased by 66% and reached an intraday high at $39.94 on Aug. 9.

Related: COIN price fails to impress as more crypto firms are eager to go public

Another company that focuses on Bitcoin mining as well as purchasing BTC with its treasury holdings is Marathon Digital Holdings (MARA).

MARA/USD 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Data from TradingView shows that after reaching a low of $20.52 on July 20, the price of MARA has rallied 83% to an intraday high of $37.77 on Aug. 6, making MARA the top-performing Bitcoin mining stock over the past two weeks.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.