Murder Suicide
A 28-year-old man from New York was robbed by two men at gunpoint for the bitcoin on his smartphone CC

A man in Brooklyn, New York, was robbed at gunpoint of $1,100 (£722) worth of bitcoin, police have said.

The 28-year-old man from Crown Heights was forced to hand over his bitcoins after placing an advert to sell them through the online listing site Craigslist.

When the victim met the faux buyer he was led to a silver Honda where he was told the deal would be finalised.

A second man inside the car pulled a gun on the victim and instructed him to open the bitcoin wallet app on his smartphone and transfer the funds to an address.

Due to the semi-anonymous nature of bitcoin, it is difficult to link the suspect's bitcoin address to the criminals' actual identity.

During the robbery, the victim's smartphone was also taken, meaning the suspect's bitcoin wallet address may not be accessible if the wallet was not backed up to a separate device.

"It's still under investigation," a police spokesperson told CNBC, before adding that there was no surveillance video footage available from the scene of the crime.

While bitcoin theft by digital means, such as hacking, is not uncommon, this is one of the only reported crimes that has taken place in the real world.

Earlier this year, New York bitcoin trader Dean Katz was robbed of $8,500 worth of bitcoin in similar circumstances after arranging to meet someone he understood to be a cryptocurrency buyer.

"[The suspect] called because he wanted to gamble during the Super Bowl, which is pretty common," Katz told the New York Observer at the time. "Right now, [bitcoin] is like the Wild West, and stagecoach robberies are going to happen."