Bitcoin is growing by the day, becoming more popular and surging in price but it hasn’t always been this way. 2017 has seen its fair share of high profile disasters when it comes to the cryptocurrency world.
Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies do have their benefits. Most notably, it can be used as a secure method to share, store and record data transparently, and can be a very lucrative investment. However; with this, comes the risk of having huge security issues which can rear at any second and crash everything into pieces.
We take a look back over 2017 at some of the greatest catastrophes that has hit the cryptocurrency world.
In February, a typing error caused the loss of $585,000worth of Zcoins. This was put down to a typographical error on a single additional character, which allowed an attacker to steal roughly 370,000 Zcoins.
Just two months after this, in April law enforcement raided a OneCoin sales pitch which resulted in the jailing of 18 employees and the freezing of roughly $2million in investor funds. It was believed that the entire scheme was a scam, as there were no receipts and the fact that the company only accepted cash rang alarm bells for the Delhi police.
In June, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) won a court case against GAW Miners and Zen Miners. They were accused of running Bitcoin Ponzi schemes which defrauded investors. The following month saw a lot of cyberattacks, particularly on ICO’s. Most notably, the much-awaited CoinDash ICO lost approximately $7.4million in Ethereum after it was targeted by hackers Although CoinDash realised within minutes, it was too late to prevent the huge loss. A week after, a similar thing happened to Veritaseum’s ICO, where 36,000 VERI tokens were stolen, which were worth nearly $8million. The fourth largest exchange worldwide, Bithumb had a database of user information stolen from them, which resulted in both the theft of information, and a significant number of Bitcoins.
In August, Ethereum platform Enigma was targeted by hackers, who sent potential investors convincing emails announcing a pre-sale of tokens. This resulted in the hackers being able to steal nearly $500,000 in Ethereum.
September saw the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission file a court case against Nicholas Gelfman. It was alleged that the company scammed roughly 80 investors out of $600,000 through a Ponzi scheme.
In October, Alexander Vinnik was the source of an argument between the US and Russia, who both suspected Bitcoin laundering. This resulted in a fine of $110million.
Tether faced a terrible time in November, after the company revealed that cybercriminals managed to compromise its treasury wallet and steal $30,950,010USDT. They have stated that they are working hard to recover these funds.
Despite only being half way through the month, December has had its fair share of catastrophes already. Nicehash admitted that $68million in investor funds had been stolen from the NiceHash wallet, which resulted in suspended operations. On top of this, SEC filed charges against PlexCorps for supposedly conducting ICO fraud.
It is no question that cryptocurrency definitely has a future in finance and investment; however, cybersecurity will continue to be a challenge in 2018, and we will no doubt face more disasters and catastrophes along the way.
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