21 million is a magic number in the cryptocurrency space as it specifies the total amount of Bitcoin created by Satoshi Nakamoto. While the total supply is known, the quantity that is actually in the market is uncertain. It is hard to know the BTC supply locked up in wallets with lost keys, and the inactive ones because of Cryptocurrency Hacks.
A former engineer at BitGo, Jameson Lopp, pointed out that roughly 35% of BTC’s supply have new owners due to heists. The figure is also alarming for some altcoins that focus on anonymity. For instance, a study published earlier this year revealed that cybercriminals and hackers possess more than 4% of Monero’s total coin supply. Thus, at the current price level, the cybercriminals hold roughly $37 million worth of XMR.
Cryptocurrency heist was very lucrative last year. This was evident after research revealed that cryptojacking had become a popular way for cybercriminals to make money. Cryptojacking has become easy for cryptocurrencies that are Asic-resistant such as Monero. While Monero’s intention of being Asic-resistant is to enable more people to mine the cryptocurrency, cybercriminals are exploiting this loophole to earn money. They gain access to computers and phones and use them to mine cryptocurrencies. And since mining Monero doesn’t require specialized hardware, the cryptojackers can exploit virtually any laptop or phone to mine the cryptocurrency.
Cryptojacking is unique because the owners of the phones or computers have no idea their devices are being used for mining purposes. Over the past few months, cryptojackers developed more sophisticated cryptojacking campaigns to ensure they keep exploiting other people’s devices and remain mostly unnoticed. At the moment, we can assume that the malware sector has fully integrated the use of and is now amongst the most successful cryptocurrency application.
Here are some shocking facts about cryptocurrency heists:
Number One: Six million of the total 17.5 million BTC’s in circulation have been stolen so far, and Bitcoin has been around for just a decade (Jameson Lopp).
Number Two: Crypto heist from exchanges and investor scams went up by over 400% last year to reach $1.7 billion. In contrast, money heist from stock exchanges in 2018 was $950 million (CipherTrace).
Number Three: Scam projects and Cryptocurrency Hacks are the most popular crypto-threats, generating $725 million in 2018.
Number Four: Last year, cryptojacking reported cases surged by 4,000%, with over 4 million new threats discovered in Q3 of 2018 alone.
Number Five: Sim swapping, crypto dusting, shadow money service business, and next-generation crypto mixers are other threats present in the crypto space.
Number Six: Google search queries for terms like Bitcoin and Ethereum have declined by 75% since the 2017 Bull Run.
Number Seven: Developed countries such as Switzerland and the Netherlands are more interested in Bitcoin. A trend that has changed as developing nations were previously more interested in the sector.
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