Kidnapped for Bitcoin: Avoiding Ransom & Wrench Attacks for Cryptocurrency (Bitgenstein’s Table)

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Bitgenstein’s Table is a discussion of how philosophy, history, sociology, economics, and psychology intersect with the future of blockchain and cryptocurrency. Subscribe on your favorite podcast platform at

This week, we discuss kidnappings & gunpoint attacks demanding cryptocurrency. We often say that cryptocurrency is unseizable. But in one sense, it’s actually more seizable than dollars in your bank account: Kidnappers’ crypto accounts, unlike bank accounts, are unfreezable and are themselves unseizable – making stolen funds completely unrecoverable.

What can we do to be safe from ransom and wrench attacks?


Next week I have an exciting guest interview with Manuel Martin, who worked at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider for many years and is now teaming up with other experts to fix many problems with the scientific publishing industry.


Original theme song, as usual, by Joseph Dickinson (

Besides one nocturne (in C minor) by Polish composer Frederic Chopin, all other piano songs – Prelude for the Left Hand Alone, Nocturne for the Left Hand Alone, and Etude in C sharp minor – are by Russian composer Alexander Scriabin.