BTC nosedived in mid-November, dipping below $4,000 (£3,123) for the first time in 2018, according to CoinMarketCap. The price slump has caused cryptocurrency commentators to claim the market is more susceptible to hacking. Speaking to Express.co.uk, industry experts also raised the issue of the need for greater regulation within the crypto sphere.
Paolo Passeri, global solutions architect at Netskope, maintained the market-wide crypto price crash was the “catalyst” and driving force behind a recent spike in cybercriminal hacking scams.
The crypto aficionado explained the reason for cybercriminals’ emboldened stance was because the crash made crypto mining “less viable”.
He said: “The catalyst driving cybercriminals to find new kinds of attacks is the fall in cryptocurrency prices, as this has made crypto mining a far less viable means of obtaining the currency due to the power costs involved.
“As the price volatility continues, hackers are aiming to capitalise on victims who have profited from the recent price bubble without expending too much resource to achieve their goals.”
“Hackers are continuing to find loopholes and deploy innovative tactics to steal cryptocurrency, a recent example being an instance of SIM Swapping used to steal $1million (£784,7000) in digital assets from a Silicon Valley businessman.
“The attack on Robert Ross involved a form of social engineering, with the cybercriminal, 21-year-old Nicholas Truglia, impersonating Ross and obtaining a new SIM from the victim’s operator, then using the new number to pass through the phone-based authentication that provided access to crypto wallets.
“This form of attack is relatively new, but in the last few months there has been a massive uptick in its use for the purpose of stealing cryptocurrencies.”
The comments were echoed by bitcoin economist Dr Saifedean Ammous who wrote in a tweet on Sunday: “This bear market is a test for Bitcoin’s security model: If the price continues plummeting while chip manufacturers continue to advance in making cheaper processing power, attacking bitcoin becomes progressively cheaper.”
Herbert Sim, chief commercial officer at Cryptology, argued the recent price plunge meant greater regulation was needed in the cryptocurrency space.
He said: “Cryptocurrencies are continuing to plunge, wiping around $700billion off the market in just one year.
“This movement from the cryptocurrency assets is clear evidence of the need for greater regulatory oversight in order to reboot investor confidence.
“This is no longer a niche market – most major institutions have been either investigating or involved in the crypto space for quite some time, so why have we allowed it to continue to be such a volatile market?”
Setting out his stall for a bright future for cryptocurrencies, he added: “Having oversight of the cryptocurrency ‘Wild West’ will legitimise, and subsequently stabilise the industry.
“Regardless of price fluctuations, the cryptocurrency community is here to stay, and it is increasingly going mainstream.
“Institutions are offering new modes of trading such as options, futures and trading on margin which resemble more legitimate trading practices in the traditional finance industry.”
eToro managing director and CryptoUK chair Iqbal V. Gandham concurred with Mr Sim.
He told Express.co.uk: “If we are going to get mass-market adoption and mass-market awareness, we need the mass-market consumer on board.
“And that consumer will not come on board unless there is a level of protection.
“We have checks and balances when people buy shares, we have checks and balances when people buy gold – let’s just apply the same checks and balances to crypto assets.”
Published at Wed, 28 Nov 2018 03:44:00 +0000