Israeli Man Indicted for Stealing $9 Million Worth of Dash, Nearly 1% of Its Supply

Francisco Memoria

An Israeli man, Afek Zard, has reportedly been indicted over the alleged theft of 74,990.74 Dash, or over $9 million worth of the privacy-centric cryptocurrency, equivalent to nearly 1% of its circulating supply.

According to local news outlet News1, Zard managed to steal the equivalent of 0.85% of Dash’s circulating supply as he was close to the victim, Alexei Yaromenko, who was reportedly an early cryptocurrency investor who has been accumulating since 2013.

Dash wasn’t launched until 2014, and even then it was trading at less than $1 per coin. At press time, CryptoCompare data shows it’s at $123, although at the time of the alleged theft Dash was trading at $85.

Per the Israeli news outlet, Yarmonlenko taught Zard how cryptocurrencies work and helped him start trading them himself. The indictment document filed by Giora Hazan, Yarolenko’s attorney, reveals Zard had access to the victim’s residence, and took advantage of his absence.

Data shows the allegedly stolen Dash was in Yaromenko’s wallet until March 1, but were soon transferred out once Zard allegedly used the victim’s computer. The funds were sent to four wallets believed to be controlled by Zard, which is now being accused of theft, money laundering, and more.

Notably, Dash adoption has seemingly been on the rise. A Dash-enabled smartphone has been gaining popularity in Venezuela, and ransomware operators have started to demand the cryptocurrency – along with bitcoin – whenever they encrypt the files in a victim’s computer.

Earlier this year, however, it has been reported that a single entity could be controlling 51% of the cryptocurrency’s hashrate. This, as analysis conducted by a Reddit user found three of the four top Dash wallets were controlled by one entity, which as of January of this year had mined 26,665 Dash.