Bitcoin THEFT to hit $1.5 BILLION in 2018 ‘huge risks’ forecast

Monday, July 9, 2018
By Paul Martin

BITCOIN is being stolen from cryptocurrency exchanges at an alarming rate with a massive £570 million ($761 million) stolen from digital currency exchanges so far in 2018, compared with $266 million for the whole of 2017.

Mon, Jul 9, 2018

A new report from US-based cybersecurity firm CipherTrace shows how cryptocurrency exchanges are becoming a soft target for hackers and cyber criminals with the direct theft of coins already soaring to three times the amount in the first half of 2018 compared to the levels recorded for the whole of 2017.

The report, which looks at the global anti-money laundering market, estimates that the losses could rise to £1.12 billion ($1.5 billion) this year.

Dave Jevans, chief executive officer of CipherTrace said: “Stolen cryptocurrencies are three times bigger this year than last year so the trend is obviously not our friend here.”

He added that stolen virtual currencies end up being laundered to help criminals hide their true identities and avoid arrest, which has resulted in a three-fold rise in money laundering of cryptocurrencies.

The most recent theft from a cryptocurrency exchange was the $32 million in digital currencies stolen from South Korean exchange Bithumb.

Following the theft, Mun Chong-hyun, chief analyst at ESTsecurity, said digital coins would continue to be appealing targets for hackers around the world.

He said: “No security measures or regulations can 100 percent guarantee safety of virtual coins.

“It is held anonymously and in lightly-secured systems, which makes them an irresistible target.”

However the surge in cryptocurrency crime has attracted the attention of global regulators and law enforcement.

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