BTC may soon lose its value as a means of payment for cybercriminals: Kaspersky

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The upcoming rules and regulations around crypto transactions around the world will make Bitcoin less attractive for criminals to use as a payment gateway. Bitcoin will lose its value as a digital asset for ransomware negotiations and payments as regulation in the crypto sector increases around the world, according to a new report from cybersecurity firm Kaspersky. Crypto-based ransomware payments reportedly rose to over $600 million (approximately Rs. 13,330 crore) in 2021. BTC was even demanded as a ransom in some of the biggest heists, such as the Colonial Pipeline attack.

“As sanctions are enacted, markets become more regulated, and technologies improve in tracking Bitcoin’s flow and resources, cybercriminals will pivot away from this cryptocurrency to other forms of value transfer,” the report said.

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Crypto scams have recently risen hand-in-hand with the adoption of digital assets.

In a recent report, Chainalysis claimed that the month of October was the worst in terms of crypto-related crimes this year. The crypto sector lost more than $718 million (approximately Rs. 5,890 crore) due to such crimes.

A recent report from BanklessTimes has claimed that US crypto investors have lost a total of more than $1 billion (approximately Rs. 8,000 crore) to scammers.

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The number of cryptojacking and phishing attacks also increased this year as more cybercriminals started injecting malware into a system to steal or mine digital assets.

The misuse of cryptocurrencies in illegal money laundering has been a concern for India and many other countries for some time now.

Under the circumstances, the focus on driving the adoption of global rules against crypto-linked money laundering has become a top priority for the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The Paris-based global financial watchdog has, in a way, unofficially required countries to adhere to anti-money laundering (AML) rules to avoid being placed on the “grey list.”

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While BTC and other cryptocurrencies are unlikely to be used for criminal transactions as laws tighten across the industry, scammers are still expected to continue swarming into the crypto sector.

According to the Kaspersky report, cybercriminals are expected to continue to prey on victims through fake initial token offerings (ITOs), NFTs, and smart contract exploits.

However, it is inevitable that people will become more aware of potential scam-like tricks and protect themselves from financial risk, the report said.


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