The amount of stolen cryptocurrency in just six months of this year is significantly larger than the amount stolen last year. The total amount of stolen cryptocurrency in the entirety of 2017 has almost tripled in just the first half of 2018 so far.
US cybersecurity firm CipherTrace reveals that a staggering $761 million worth was stolen from cryptocurrency exchanges in just six months into the year. The amount is a far cry compared with last year’s $266 million worth of stolen cryptocurrency. The cybersecurity firm predicts that the situation could get worse within the year as they estimate the amount to rise to $1.5 billion.
Taking Steps Against Cybercrime
CipherTrace CEO Dave Jevans reveals that the recent cyberattacks and the rising cryptocurrency thefts have already caught the attention of authorities and global regulators. In an interview with Reuters, Jevans expresses his concerns over the recent cryptocurrency thefts, saying:
“Stolen cryptocurrencies are three times bigger this year than last year so the trend is obviously not our friend here.”
Jevans says that international authorities are already in talks about finding a solution to the concerning rise of cybercrime.
“Now we are seeing the big guys coming together asking for cryptocurrency anti-money laundering regulation – it is inevitable, it will be unified, and it will be global.”
While global regulators seek ways to prevent future losses, the damage that cybercrime left is already done. The recent cryptocurrency exchange theft in South Korea cost Bithumb $32 million. Jevans points out that cases of cryptocurrency money laundering have tripled since stolen crypto are often laundered by criminals, which helps mask their real identities to avoid arrest.
Solving the Global Problem
Countries have varying stances on cryptocurrency as some have banned them or have stricter regulations against them, while others have a more lenient approach toward them. However, this does not change the fact that the problem of cryptocurrency theft and cybercrime affects investors on a global scale. According to an earlier report by CNBC, cryptocurrency regulation still lacks a governing body, and its legal state is pretty much fragmented as it varies from country to country.
India and China are tightening up their laws against cryptocurrency exchange, while countries like Singapore and Switzerland are taking a more lenient stance. Italy’s central bank leader states that while cryptocurrencies certainly pose risks, they still shouldn’t be banned. On the other hand, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde argues that cryptocurrency has a tendency of becoming a vehicle for money laundering.