Abductors of boy, 13, left note demanding £92,000 worth of cryptocurrency for his release Jason Burke in Johannesburg and agencies A gang that kidnapped a South African teenager from a playground at the weekend have demanded a ransom in bitcoin worth about $123,000, police have said. The 13-year-old boy was taken in the town of Witbank in the eastern province of Mpumalanga while he was playing with two friends near his home.

Witnesses said a Toyota Corolla pulled up nearby and the teenager was dragged in and driven away. “We are investigating a case of kidnapping that happened on Sunday in Witbank.

There was a demand that was made that the parents should deposit cash in bitcoins,” the police spokesman Leonard Hlathi said on Tuesday. Local media said the ransom note was left at the scene.

Bitcoin is the first, and the biggest, “cryptocurrency” – a decentralised tradeable digital asset. Whether it is a bad investment is the big question.

Bitcoin can only be used as a medium of exchange and in practice has been far more important for the dark economy than it has for most legitimate uses. The lack of any central authority makes bitcoin remarkably resilient to censorship, corruption – or regulation. Read more from theguardian.com…

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