Since its creation, the Bitcoin has made a substantial impact on global currencies. While many associate the exchange of this anonymous currency with crime, drugs and other illegal financial transactions, some choose to use it for anonymity, lower fees and no taxes. In recent years, however, there have been several major stories that have surfaced of hackers making off with anywhere from one hundred thousand to $5 million worth of Bitcoins. One recent example comes from Gatecoin, where Hackers were able to steal about $2 million by gaining access to their “hot wallets.” While the breach most likely occurred early last week, it was not until Friday, May 13, that Gatecoin noticed some suspicious transactions and suspended their services to investigate – Friday the 13th, ironic? This theft accounted for 15 percent of total Gatecoin deposits and has left the company scrambling to raise investment in order to repay their clients and to rebuild their security infrastructure.
It is possible for these companies to be victims of inside jobs, such as what happened to the Bitcoin company ShapeShift in April 2016. After losing $230,000 , ShapeShift discovered that an employee had helped himself to $130,000 worth of Bitcoins and Ether (a rival to Bitcoin). After being fired he then sold company information to a hacker who was able to then steal an additional $100,000.
It is important to remember however that these hackers are not just stealing from Bitcoin exchanges but also from banks as well. Three have been reported robbed through a global messaging system dubbed Swift. This has happened in Bangladesh where a Bank reported to have lost $81 million while more recently, a bank in Ecuador admitted to losing $12 million in a similar heist. These attacks could be as malicious as stolen information or as innocent as clicking on a bad link.