With the growth of cryptocurrency, criminals are beginning to commit crypto crimes. Cybercriminals have come up with several techniques to steal digital coins, from “cryptojacking” to mining fraud and even account takeovers, Reuters reported. Through “cryptojacking,” for example, cybercriminals may take over a computer user’s browser and use their device to mine cryptocurrencies.
Of course, criminals are targeting bitcoin exchanges too. A member of the Singapore-based NEM Foundation, Takao Asayama, said that his organization was working with exchanges to prevent hackers from profiting from last week’s $530 million NEM coin heist, Reuters stated. Authorities in several countries are reportedly investigating the heist, but Asayama would not name them.
Reuters also reported that German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier sees cryptocurrencies as vehicles for speculation and is warning about a bubble. “When I look at the market developments of cryptocurrencies, I don’t see currencies. I see betting games,” Steinmeier told guests at a Deka Bank event in Frankfurt. He went on to say that the financial sector has the responsibility to prevent cryptocurrencies from getting out of control. “Preventing new speculation acrobatics and formation of bubbles is primarily the responsibility of the financial sector,” Steinmeier said.
In India, the country’s finance minister wants to prevent cryptocurrencies from funding criminal activities, CNBC reported. “The government does not recognize cryptocurrency as legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate the use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system,” Arun Jaitley told lawmakers in New Delhi, according to a transcript from the The Hindu newspaper. But Jaitley did say that the government had interest in leveraging future uses of the blockchain — for non-nefarious purposes, of course.
And that position may have impacted Ripple (XRP). The digital currency, which was created to settle international transactions, dipped just below $1 to $0.984 on Thursday (Feb. 1), according to Business Insider, marking only the second time the cryptocurrency fell below $1 this year. But Ripple was not the only cryptocurrency to experience a decline.
Following Jaitley’s comments and potential price manipulation at a major cryptocurrency exchange, bitcoin dropped below $9,000 in trading on Thursday (Feb. 1) — a critical level, CNBC stated. The cryptocurrency tumbled to $8,810 in late-morning trading, but by 12:12 P.M., it had rebounded slightly to $9,019.08 before sliding again, according to CoinDesk.