You can't hide cryptocurrency under your mattress: Hackers steal $70M in bitcoin
- Hackers walked away with $70 million in bitcoin through NiceHash, reports Time. The breach was disclosed by the company on Wednesday and halted its operations for a 24-hour period. NiceHash told its users to reset their passwords, but the reach of the breach is still unknown.
- The exact number of stolen cryptocurrency tokens has yet to be verified, but it is reportedly about 4,700 bitcoin, according to Andrej P. Skraba, head of marketing at NiceHash, who claimed it was a "professional attack." The company's payment system was also impacted by the hackers.
- At this time, the price of bitcoin is peaking at more than $11,500, or about 10 times its price in March, reports Kiplinger.
The ease of transferring currencies over international borders made bitcoin a staple for firms and companies that invest. It follows the protocol of traditional investments – in that the market sets its worth. It has no intrinsic value.
Many investments are inherently risky, but just like other forms of investment, bitcoin is not without unique risks. Bitcoin, unlike real estate or stocks, does not "offer the chance to generate cash," according to Kiplinger. Still, companies outside the financial industry continue to use the cryptocurrency despite the possibility of losing all "crypto assets" when values fall.
The most prevalent criticism of bitcoin is theft. Because bitcoin is relatively new, it can invite nuanced mistakes.
For one man, spring cleaning lost him about $80 million worth of bitcoin after he accidently threw away an old laptop's hard drive holding about 7,500 bitcoin. Consumers can be negligent with old technologies, and a lot of data goes unprotected after its disposal.
But what happens when someone cannot access their cryptocurrency because of forgetfulness? After throwing out a piece of paper with passwords and pin numbers written on it, another man lost $30,000 worth of bitcoin.
This marks one of bitcoin's failings. Unlike conventional "lost password" retrieval methods, bitcoin is a network left to its own devices. So, if one of bitcoin's users loses their credentials, no one is there to aid in recovery.
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