The Problem of Stolen Crypto Is Getting Worse Fast, Spurring a Possible Regulatory Crackdown
Enthusiasts of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are trying to position the digital currencies as legitimate means of exchange, but crypto’s tendency to be stolen and then laundered by thieves is not only well-known, it’s growing worse.
The total estimated value of cryptocurrency pilfered from exchanges worldwide came to almost $800 million in the first half of this year, about triple the sum stolen in all of 2017, according to a report released this week by CipherTrace Inc., a Menlo Park, Calif.-based vendor of anti-money-laundering tools for digital currencies.
In sum, about $1.2 billion in cryptocurrency has been stolen from exchanges since the start of 2016, the report says. It adds that the Federal Bureau of Investigation said the value of cryptocurrency mentioned in theft complaints the bureau fielded from 2015 through 2017 grew sixfold.