Bitcoin and cryptocurrency is a hot item at the moment, with many of the top contenders in the industry having rallied to great heights since the start of the year. Many have pegged Bitcoin directly against gold in the race for asset dominance, thanks to its heightened value at present.
Wherever there is big money, there are people trying to get their hands on it in an illegitimate and criminal manner. Bitcoin exchanges around the world are often under attack from hackers, often losing data and coinage to the hands of these fiends, which directly affects the owners of such e-currency. The bigger exchanges are working very hard to remedy the security issues, but the results are somewhat mixed.
Criminal determination seems to be a power to be reckoned with, so it is very important that Bitcoin and crypto investors practice the best possible security measures when holding their wealth.
BINANCE ISSUES WARNING
Binance is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange on trading volume. They have built a strong reputation based on the reliable service that they offer to investors, as well as the transparent manner in which they go about their business. As a result of their sharing ways, they have alerted their customers to the fact that they are currently investigating an alleged leak of verification data.
According to the exchange, a hacker is trying to blackmail them into paying him/her/them 300 Bitcoin (over $3 million by today’s value). The hacker has claimed to have in possession 10,000 images of people who seem to have their private information stored on the Binance exchange. It is alleged that these 10,000 pictures have been taken from the KYC documents held by the company and are being used as proof that the hacker has sensitive personal information about these customers.
WHAT IS KYC?
KYC stands for Know Your Customer. Any exchange that trades fiat currency for cryptocurrency must have a full portfolio of information of each customer they service on the platform. KYC documents include information like Identity Numbers/Social Security Numbers, addresses, email addresses, contact number, banking details, and photo ID. This is the information that criminals would thrive on to commit fraud in your name.
SO, WHAT NOW?
Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao, has suggested that the alleged leak of information is nothing but an attempt to put out bad press in order to damage crypto business. It, therefore, makes sense to go after the biggest name in the field to do this.
Much of the data provided by the ‘hacker’ contains some inconsistencies though. When compared with the Binance system, much of what is claimed to be leaked is different from the facts identified by the Binance crew. This leads the company to believe that the hack is actually more of a scam, then a data compromise.
The Leak has been circulated on a group on the social messaging platform, Telegram. Binance has appealed to the public to stop sharing the post, as it is aiding in criminal activities to do so, and has rather motivated people to come forward with any information that could help identify the perpetrator/s. A reward of 25 Bitcoin (just under $300,000) is up for grabs for anyone with information that leads to the successful identification of the ‘hacker’.
HOW DID CRYPTO FARE AS RESULT?
Surprisingly, cryptocurrency markets seem unfazed about this ‘little irritation’. News of the ’leak’ has failed to halt exchange on the platform and even the homegrown coin, Binance Coin, remains on track with its growth spurt, having rallied up around 400% this year.
All of this just goes to show that the faith in cryptocurrency remains strong on the market, which is a great sign for the future. Risk is a part of the crypto-world, where the rewards are worth the effort.
TIPS ON SECURING CRYPTO
Remaining wise with your crypto holding is still of vital importance. While storing your coins on a wallet at a crypto exchange is a convenient way to keep it, especially if you are a busy trader, storing it offsite on an external hard drive is much safer. This way, your information and coins remain safe from any breaches.
Of course, if you are wanting to sell coins or buy them, you will need to produce KYC documentation, which means that your information may become vulnerable to the hands of hackers. The only way to avoid this type of information provision, would be to trade peer to peer. Here very little information is shared between the two parties and P2P exchanges do rate the business conduct of buyers and sellers based on their history on the site. Of course, there are very real risks involved here too.
Cryptocurrency investment comes with a few risks, but then so does fiat currency. Carrying cash on your person carries a risk that you might be robbed. Investing in the stock market carries a risk that you will lose your investment, driving your car carries a risk of you having an accident. Life is full of risk, but in order to live it to the full and take advantage of all the good things that it brings with it, the risk is worth taking.
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