Israeli company Bancor announced that its network had been compromised on July 9th and $13.5 million dollars worth of cryptocurrency had been taken from one of the company’s wallets. The total value was divided between $12.5 million in ethereum and $1 million in Pundi X.
Bancor is a company that converts currency, helping people turn their traditional currency into cryptocurrency and vice versa. This is an essential service because few stores accept cryptocurrency.
In a press release put out by Bancor the company made it clear that the money was not taken from “user wallets.” This suggests that users don’t have to worry about cryptocurrency that they didn’t hand over to Bancor.
The company also states that they are working to trace the currency that has been stolen via the block chain. Because cryptocurrency is decentralized the stolen tokens can’t be frozen but different exchanges can start looking out for the stolen currency to try and make it harder for the thieves to use their ill-gotten funds.
The internet has often been compared to the “wild west” because of the way that it exists in a space that governments are often ill-equipped to operate in. Cryptocurrency is a prime example of this situation.
It promises freedom and anonymity that many long for in this age of constant surveillance, but when people try to operate outside of the government’s view they invite the attention of those who would take advantage of the situation.
Some believe that the cryptocurrency bubble has already popped after the dramatic dive that Bitcoin took in late December of 2017. Since then the news has been filled with stories of theft, abuse, and crashing prices.
But proponents of cryptocurrency believe that all of this is just the growing pains that all new technologies have to go through. They argue that the dot-com bust of the late 90s didn’t signal that the internet was over, it simply revealed issues that had been previously ignored so that they could finally be addressed.
No one can know for sure what cryptocurrency will lead to in the coming years, but the news of this theft should remind everyone of the risks involved in this volatile and unregulated sector of the global economy.