As the Bitcoin world follows the Ulbricht trial and some of the darker sides of cryptocurrency, a recent murder in New York may cast another shadow over the industry.
Quentin Capobianco, 18, was arrested, charged with the murder of Jesse Smith, 29. The two apparently ran a bitcoin trading business, selling bitcoin to interested parties through CoinJar and BTCJam. A LocalBitcoins ad attributed to the partners reads:
“Want your Bitcoins delivered on the spot, anywhere in NYC, by a driver with a 2014 Stingray!
We are here for you with speedy and reliable service (just ask our repeat customers).
You get your bitcoins on the spot, we wait four days for them. We have a LOT of Bitcoins and an even BIGGER demand. Of course any and all are welcome. Contact info is below. Have a nice day!”
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Capobianco told investigators that Smith had confronted him about costly damages the former made to their upscale apartment in Queens. Smith had tied him up at gunpoint, but Capobianco was able to break free. Apparently in self defense, he allegedly beat his roommate to death with a hammer.
The two were known in the area to be generally well dressed. Their upscale building is said to have one-bedroom units going for $2,750/month. Smith was also known as a lawyer who recently moved into private practice and may have been going through a difficult period. A clerk at a local liquor store said:
“He’d buy [Moet] champagne. He always dressed nice, but not the last few times. He said his business wasn’t good. He looked rough, like he had a lot going on.”
The exact causes for the breakdown have yet to be disclosed. One may speculate that a crumbling bitcoin price may have exposed the partners to heavy losses, leading to financial difficulties and strife between the two.