Bitcoin engineer Jameson Lopp SWATted by angry crypto fans

An engineer for BitGo, Jameson Lopp, faced down a horde of police officers with rifles at his home in Durham, North Carolina after someone sent an anonymous tip regarding a hostage situation at his home. The engineer has been vocal on Twitter about upcoming changes in the protocol.

“They shut down most of my neighborhood,” he said. “There were dozens of patrol units, a SWAT team, mobile command post, a fire truck, and paramedics,” he said. “It was a huge waste of public resources.”

Lopp has been vocal in the hard fork debate and has worked at BitGo for almost three years and a Bitcoin enthusiast for five years. The 911 caller who forced the police to act told a dispatcher that he was holding is family hostage and gave Lopp’s address.

I asked him what he had been talking about recently and he felt most of his online comments were innocuous. He has, however, made online enemies thanks to his views.

“Same old same old: Bitcoin philosophy and scaling debate arguments. A few of the more extreme cases think I’m some kind of manipulative monster,” said Lopp. “The attacker never made any references to my public debates, so it’s not a certainty that they were motivated by them. They may simply want to extort me, similar to what has happened to several other prominent Bitcoin folks.”

Lopp has appeared on many TechCrunch podcasts about Bitcoin including a new one we may launch this year.

“The asymmetry here is disturbing,” he said. “A single phone call can eat up tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in public resources just to determine whether or not a threat is real.”

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