Cryptoasset theft – more than $750m – surges in 2018

July 05, 2018
Chris Wheal

US cybersecurity operator CipherTrace claims more than $750m in cryptoassets have been stolen in 2018. This compares with more than $266m for the whole of 2017. A dramatic rise. 

CipherTrace claims as much as $1.5bn in digital assets may be stolen for the whole of 2018. “Stolen cryptocurrencies are three times bigger this year than last year so the trend is obviously not our friend here,” Dave Jevans, chief executive officer of CipherTrace told Reuters.

Cryptoasset security is under pressure this year due to rising levels of theft; credit: Shutterstock

Footprint tech deployed

Recently $32 million in digital currencies were stolen from South Korean exchange Bithumb. Responding, CipherTrace has launched a new anti-laundering software that can track cryptoassets, which countries they have been connected with, along with exchange footprints. 

Jevans said these flows can identify if a cryptocurrency transaction came via an illicit dark market, also. “Then at the high level, we also provide a risk scoring mechanism which allows someone who has to do high-volume transactions tracking to look at every transaction or every address,” he said in a statement.

Growing amounts of scrutiny and oversight is badly needed; credit: Shutterstock

Entity insight wanted

CipherTrace’s risk scoring mechanism provides insight into entities  directly involved with a transaction, as well as the other parties that were involved around a given entity. “The goal of the risk score is to highlight and identify potential sources of money laundering activities,” Jevans added.

Meanwhile a new report from the European Parliament advised that digital coins should be treated like any other financial instrument – and regulations should be consistent across multiple global jurisdictions.

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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