2019 may already be a distant memory for many of us, but if you own cryptocurrency, the year was marked by some exciting highs and disappointing lows. Fortunately, prices are again rising and experts predict that 2020 could be a breakout year for bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies. Whether or not you trust the predictions of digital currency pundits is completely up to you. After all, security titan John McAfee famously predicted that bitcoin would be valued at $1 million by the end of 2020. McAfee has now changed his tune. Earlier this month on Twitter, he confirmed that his prediction was nothing more than a “ruse to onboard new users.”
Despite the widespread dissemination of misleading, contradictory and downright false information about the cryptocurrency market, decentralized digital currency adoption continues to climb. But this news hides an insidious fact: cryptocurrency theft is rapidly increasing. According to blockchain analysis firm Chainanalysis, hackers successfully breached 11 cryptocurrency exchanges in 2019, stealing more than $283 million worth of cryptocurrency. If you look at data from the last decade, these hacks represent the highest number of security breaches at digital currency exchanges in a single year. For comparison, only 6 major exchangers were breached in 2018.
Fortunately, these numbers hint at some good news. Thanks to improved security and transaction verification systems, hackers are escaping with less and less cryptocurrency from exchanges. The $283 million loss is less than one-third of the $875.5 million worth of crypto that hackers stole in 2018. Of course, hackers are by no means only targeting exchanges. Their operations are for more complex than that. According to security provider Carbon Black, the first half of 2019 saw nearly $1.1 billion in cryptocurrency fall into the hands of cybercriminals. Exchanges comprised only 27% of attacks, with businesses (21%), private users (14%) and government (7%) accounting for almost 70% of documented cryptocurrency theft.
Why Hackers Target Cryptocurrency?
Blockchain, the ledger technology on which cryptocurrencies like bitcoin rely on, is very secure. The problem rests with who is able to make transactions on the blockchain. The answer to that question is anyone. Because the identity of individual cryptocurrency wallet holders is never known, digital currency’s anonymity and personal privacy conspire to make it the perfect tool for scammers and hackers. In this manner, the decentralized peer to peer nature of cryptocurrencies that draw users to it, also conspires to work to the advantages of individuals determined to use it for illicit purposes.
How To Protect Your Digital Assets
Whether you’re a seasoned financial strategist of a first-time cryptocurrency investor, you’ll want to take the necessary time to thoroughly scrutinize your chosen digital currency exchange. Look for third-party audits, which are an excellent sign that the organization you are considering purchasing cryptocurrency from is well-run and safe.
Most importantly, you’ll want to ensure that your cryptocurrency wallet is secure. Cold wallets that rely on hardware authentication and that are physically disconnected from the internet when not in use, provide you with the highest security of any cryptocurrency wallet. There are no known incidences of hardware wallets being compromised, and when used correctly, experts single them out as the ideal cryptocurrency storage solution.
Buy & Sell 10 Different Cryptocurrencies with SolidTrust Pay
Did you know that you can now buy and sell 10 different cryptocurrencies directly from your secure SolidTrust Pay e-wallet? At SolidTrust Pay, we’re looking towards the future. That’s why we’ve made it easy for you to buy and sell cryptocurrency using your secure STPay e-wallet. To begin, simply add your cryptocurrency wallet to your SolidTrust Pay account and enable two-factor authentication (2FA) on your smartphone or desktop computer. You can learn more about setting up 2FA HERE. Your Bitcoin deposit is then instantly converted to U.S. dollars. Read our handy get-started guide HERE.
To withdraw your SolidTrust Pay funds into your cryptocurrency wallet, go to My Money > Withdraw Funds and select the Altcoins option. Please ensure that you have enabled 2FA on your account and have added an external digital currency wallet before proceeding with a cryptocurrency withdrawal. For step-by-step instructions, please click HERE.