Blockchain Startup CEO Kidnapped in Kiev
Sunday, a Ukranian blockchain CEO got kidnapped in Kiev. Gregory Kucherkov is the CEO of Cornerstone, an effort to fund real estate investment with a blockchain token. Conerstone is planning an ICO. CCN received a tip from COO Fedir Martynov, and reached out to him by phone.
Martynov tells us that the firm has already raised some capital for its ICO in a private sale, and they and the local police believe this may be the motive for the kidnapping.
Currently Cornerstone is preparing for an ICO, and has already obtained funds, which the local police believe may be the reason of the kidnapping.
The kidnappers have not reached out to Cornerstone about a ransom or anything of the kind as of yet. Martynov provided us the following surveillance video, which shows two men forcing him into a Volkswagon van at gunpoint.
CCN has been unable to reach anyone from the Kiev police. The kidnappers have yet to contact Cornerstone about a ransom.
According to Martynov, Kucherkov splits his time between New York City and Kiev. He and his partners believe the intent of the kidnapping has to do with the potential value of the start-up.
The project is still in a very nascent stage, but they are serious about their effort. As you can see in the video below, they have an office already and several staff.
Cornerstone seeks to build a way for everyday people to invest in real estate, with a low barrier to entry. The purpose of this article is not to advertise their upcoming ICO nor to comment on the viability of their project. However, the details are important.
The project is trying to raise funds from the public sale of 500,000,000 tokens. It brings to mind other real estate ICOs, such as Blockimmo. The model is more straightforward than tokenizing properties using the blockchain, however. The company buys investment properties.
Token holders receive profits by proportion to their investment.
Martynov and Cornerstone are hoping that media attention will help return Kucherkov home safely.
We want to use public opinion to help with the situation and get the attention of our police department.
In a follow-up e-mail, Martynov writes:
We can’t provide any documents, because we are not allowed. Waiting for any kind of new information. […] We hope that those people realize they did do a terrible mistake and will let our friend go home safe.
If you have any information as to the identity of the kidnappers or Kurchikov’s current whereabouts, we strongly urge you to contact the Kiev police or
Ukraine National Police right away. The incident brings to mind the kidnapping of Pavel Lerner, a crypto exchange CEO who was also taken in Ukraine.