Bitcoin ransom demands will soon explode as hackers, kidnappers and cybercriminals are now demanding bitcoin for ransom.
In every good thing, there is always a bad side, this is no exemption for bitcoin. While cryptocurrency is aiming to disrupt the mainstream payment system, however its lack of little or no KYC/AML attached could be a major hindrance to achieving this feat.
Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are fast becoming the preferred payment options for scams, hackers, and kidnappers due to its anonymity.
The issue of transparency is a major concern, as transactions committed through financial crimes can hardly be traced since there’s no documentation whatsoever.
Criminals are attracted to cryptocurrency due to these three features, first, it is decentralized and cannot be controlled by any individuals or government, it provides the highest level of anonymity and transactions can take place without the need of a third party such as a bank.
Unlike before, collecting ransom money is a riskier endeavor for criminals. In many cases it requires the money to be laundered, kidnappers will have to pass through several channels to clear and get the money in the process which they can be caught. Conversely getting a bitcoin wallet only takes a matter of minutes and its transactions can hardly be traced to a real-world identity.
Bitcoin Ransom Rate Increasing
The rate of bitcoin ransom in Africa is increasing, 2018 particularly have witnessed several cases of criminal activities related to cryptocurrency. South Africa particularly has suffered more.
Cape Town businessman Liyaqat Parker who was kidnapped by a gang of five at his company’s basement was released after paying 50 bitcoin.
In May 2018 kidnappers of South African teenage boy demanded 15 bitcoin which is over $100, 000 dollars to be paid as ransom
Can Regulation Stop Kidnapers from Demanding Bitcoin As Ransom
Whether the nonexistent of cryptocurrency, would have stunt bitcoin ransom demand is a matter of debate. Governments in Africa and regulators have warned against investing in cryptocurrency. Some claims it poses a ‘big risk’ while others even labeled bitcoin as scam due to fraudulent activities attached to it.
Despite the warnings, Africa is still witnessing an increased interest in cryptocurrencies and the demands have skyrocketed
Is 2019 is going to be an exception? No.
While the crypto sphere in Africa is still largely unregulated, there have been calls for governments in Africa to regulate the cryptocurrency space in a bid to tackle such problems. The questions remain even with regulation can the government solve the bitcoin ransom problem.
The bad news is as bitcoin continues to gain wider adoption, this could in turn increase crimes such as ransom in the continent.
Will demand for bitcoin ransom increase in 2019? share your thoughts below.