How Is The Current Year Shaping Up For Cryptocurrency Hackers?
There might be a number of opinions about digital currency and its potential use case in the upcoming periods. The crypto market might be undergoing uncertainty due to regulatory issues. However, hackers are not at all worried about none of these events or opinions as long as they are happy with the outcome of their efforts. This was evident when they could rob over $1 billion. The current year appears to be a big one in terms of the value of money stolen with the help of virtual assets.
Hackers Are Busy
According to a Businessinsider.com.au report, until now in the current year, hackers are busy due to enough opportunities in the cryptocurrency market. They want to take advantage of the nascent stage of the industry since the digital currency market largely remains as an unregulated market. A WSJ report indicated that over A$1.08 billion or US$800 million worth of virtual currencies had been looted by hackers in the current year alone. This was based on an independent research provider of Autonomous Reach for the finance industry of Australia.
Among the biggest hacking in 2018, Japan-based Coincheck suffered the worst with over $500 million worth of digital currencies being stolen towards the end of January. In South Korea, Bithumb was the target of the cybercriminals in June. They could swindle approximately $30 million from its hot wallet thus leading to the suspension of their operations. The exchange also shifted the remaining part of the holding to cold storage following the cyber-attack. This is despite the ambiguity in the crypto space.
Though there are companies that are focused on providing a platform for trading in digital currencies, their functions are not similar to the conventional stock exchanges. This has prompted the Australian Digital Commerce Association (ADCA) chair, Loretta Joseph, to term cryptocurrency exchange as “digital marketplaces” early this year. His contention was that companies like Bithumb, Binance, and Coincheck are only providing a forum enabling buyers and sellers to exchange their virtual assets independently.
That meant these exchanges were not regulated. There is also another difference as the exchanges offer facilities to store cryptocurrencies of users. As a result, they have become the target of cybercriminals. This is also quite evident from the way hackers have looted digital tokens since the year 2011. They were responsible for as much as 56 attacks either in initial coin offerings (ICOs) or the digital currency exchange.
Asia The Biggest Target
According to an Autonomous Research report, the current year has seen seven hacking on the cryptocurrency exchange by hackers. Significantly, four of them have happened in Asia with Japan being the biggest sufferer. There is no doubt that these kinds of hacks have weighed on the sentiments of the virtual currency market at least to some extent.
At the same time, this has opened up opportunities for enterprises that are providing storage options to the crypto community. For instance, France-based Ledge has raised $75 million through a Series B funding led by Draper Esprit, a venture capital company. The startup company is engaged in offering hardware to store crypto’s offline.