Virtual currencies and the developed software used to track them have now become attractive targets for various cybercriminals at the same time as creating a profitable new market for computer-security firms.
Lex Sokolin, the global director of fintech strategy at Autonomous Research LLP, states that hackers have stolen USD $1.2 billion worth of Bitcoin and the competing currency Ether. Given the currencies’ explosive surge at the end of 2017, the cost in today’s money is a lot higher.
Sokolin also states that cryptocurrency hacking seems to be a USD $200 million annual revenue industry. According to Susan Eustis, chief executive officer of WinterGreen Research, hacks involving digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, have cost governments and businesses USD $11.3 billion through lost potential tax revenue from illegal transaction and coin sales.
The blockchain ecosystem which tracks cryptocurrency transactions is also vulnerable. Blockchain records are shared which makes the records very difficult to alter therefore some users view them as super secure. Matt Suiche, the director of the blockchain security company Comae Technologies, states that they are no safer than any other software.