Cryptocoin thefts are on a rise with over 33 thefts being reported in japan so far this year. As the markets grow, the value of coins such as bitcoin increases considerably not only for consumers but thieves too. It cam as no surprise to many when Nikkei, the leading financial newspaper in the world, reported a estimate $710,848 (according to the national policy agency) having been stolen as cryptocoin assets in the first half of the year in Japan.
“Damages by virtual currency up to June 2017 were the most for Ripple, at 29.6 million yen, followed by bitcoin at nearly 29.3 million yen. Damages in other currencies Ethereum and NEM amounted to 200,000 yen and 100,000 yen, respectively, among others.”
The nature of bitcoin and cryptocoin’s mean that once a theft has occurred its almost impossible to recover lost funds. Unlike a traditional fiat bank and fiat payment services such as PayPal, many cant go to the bank and request a refund. Many exchanges are also not obliged to provide refunds for funds compromised on the users end too. As reported by Nikkei, the majority of thefts occurred on accounts which weren’t verified with 2 factor authentication. 2 Factor authentication remains the easiest way to secure your assets but 3 accounts were reportedly compromised as hackers penetrated this layer of security.
While 2FA is still comprisable, the chances of being hacked through this security measure are extremely low and its high recommended to enable this setting no matter what exchange you decide to use. Offline solutions and hardware wallets such as Trezor are recommended for those with higher balances looking for the tightest security solutions.
To conclude, there has been a recent increase in opportunistic robberies of cryptocoin holders, as the market attracts all types of thieves. With 33 robberies of cryptocoin having been reported just in japan so far, on a global scale, the numbers are exponentially higher. With japan a hotbed for cryptocoin technology, consumers are advised to enable 2FA, immediately delete any suspicious emails from exchanges etc.