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Criminals are still drawn to Bitcoin. The world’s leading cryptocurrency lacks anonymity and privacy. Even so, it is often used as a tool to hide monetary transactions. The first six months of 2019 have been rather telling in this regard. Over $4bn worth of Bitcoin has been stolen from investors during this period alone. 

Criminals Want Your Bitcoin

It is a well-known fact that Bitcoin is often associated with criminal activity. That is not entirely abnormal either. Cryptocurrencies operate outside of the realm of traditional finance. As such, criminals see it as a way to avoid detection. Moving illicitly obtained funds through Bitcoin seems to offer them privacy, even though Bitcoin is by far the most transparent blockchain on the market today. 

Despite this lack of privacy, criminals still obtained $4,3bn worth of BTC from investors and users. This entire sum was obtained during the first six months of 2019 alone. It is a very big increase compared to the same period in 2018. At that time “only” $1.7bn was stolen. It is very worrisome to see these statistics increase, instead of decrease over time.

Scams and Theft Reign Supreme

Most of the stolen funds come from the usual sources. Cryptocurrency scams are still a pressing problem in 2019. Whether it is through fake coin offerings or fictitious companies, the business model remains surprisingly lucrative. Furthermore, the theft of cryptocurrencies has been problematic for as long as people remember. Despite numerous warnings and incidents over the years, criminals continue to be successful.

Regarding the thefts, this has to be put in its right perspective. One particular Ponzi Scheme has, according to Cipherthrace, scammed $2.9bn in cryptocurrency assets. There are also a fair few scams and thefts which are not included in the report as of yet due to their ongoing investigations. Cryptocurrencies remain a prominent target for criminals around the globe. Sadly, their efforts are often far too successful regardless of the method used. 

Price Recovery is Problematic

Many different factors contribute to these surprisingly high numbers. It seems safe to assume the recent price increase of most projects can be attributed to this growing interest. After all, it also creates more value for the criminals who successfully obtain these currencies in the process.

There is a second layer to this price rise. A higher crypto value tends to attract inexperienced users to this industry. Not all of them know how to properly keep their assets safe. That makes them more prone to scams and hacks, eventually resulting in financial losses. It is a very interesting situation, although one that remains very uneasy for those who expect big things for cryptocurrency in the years to come. 



Disclaimer: This is not trading or investment advice. The above article is for entertainment and education purposes only. Please do your own research before purchasing or investing into any cryptocurrency or digital currency.

Image(s): Shutterstock.com


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