On December 26th 2017, unknown men wearing balaclavas forced the lead analyst for cryptocurrency exchange EXMO into a car and let him go only three days later having received a big ransom. The news made it to the headlines of cryptomedia around the world.
After freeing and cooperating with the police, Mr. Lerner left Ukraine feeling it was unsafe to stay there. Now he is working at BitSonar, an international project engaged in quantum analytics of trading data and building quantum strategies for trading.
For more than a year, Mr. Lerner stayed silent and never contacted any media. However, recently the leading Russian-language cryptocurrency media outlet ForkLog managed to interview him about the abduction and his current work.
This article is based on the authorized English translation of the interview.
First, to rebut the rumors of his severe injuries, Mr. Lerner said:
“I wasn’t severely injured. The handcuffs left some fractures in my radial bones, though, and my wrists hurt sometimes. For a few months after the kidnapping I had a hard time typing things so I couldn’t do my main job, which is coding and analyzing the market.”
“My biggest trauma is psychological. Such things aren’t normal. It’s good I had friends and relatives by my side. They helped me switch my mind off that story.”
He added that, while the police were working professionally, he does not believe the investigation will bear any fruit.
“When the kidnappers set me free, or, more accurately, threw me out of the car, I had to speak with the Ukrainian police almost all the time. The police acted professionally. The investigation is still underway,