On a brisk day in March 2016, Stephen Allwine sauntered into a Wendy’s in Minneapolis. The smell of old fryer grease hung in the air as he searched for a male wearing darknes jeans and a blue jacket. Allwine, “whos working” as an IT reinforcement technician, was lean and nerdy, with wire-rim glasses. He was carrying $6,000 in currency, money he’d collected by pawning silver bars and coins to avoid suspicious inferences from his bank account. He discovered the man he was looking for sitting in a booth.
They had connected on LocalBitcoins, a sort of Craigslist for people who want to buy cryptocurrency near where they live. Allwine opened the app Bitcoin Wallet on his phone and handed over the money, and “the mens” searched a QR code displayed on the phone to transfer the bitcoin. The transaction moved seamlessly. Then Allwine returned to his automobile to discover that he had locked his keys inside.
It was his birthday. He was 43. And he was supposed to join a woman identified Michelle Woodard for lunch.
Allwine had convened Woodard online a few months earlier. The relation had progressed speedily, and for a while they exchanged dozens of messages a day. Their passion had since faded, but they still slept together from time to time. While he “ve been waiting for” the locksmith to arrive, he texted her that he’d stopped to buy bitcoin and was running late. Once the door was jimmied open, he convened up with Woodard at a burger joint called the Blue Door Pub, determined to enjoy the rest of the afternoon.
That evening he committed himself another birthday represent. Using the email address dogdaygod @hmamail. com, he wrote to a person he knew merely as Yura. “I have the bitcoins now, ” he said.