BTC May Soon Lose Its Value as Payment Tool for Cyber Criminals: Kaspersky

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The upcoming rules and regulations around crypto transactions around the world will make Bitcoin less enticing for criminals to use as a payment gateway. As per a new report by the Kaspersky cybersecurity firm, Bitcoin is set to lose its value as a digital asset for ransomware negotiations and payments as regulations around the crypto sector increase around the world. Crypto-based ransomware payments reportedly rose above $600 million (roughly Rs. 13,330 crore) in 2021. In fact, BTC was demanded as a ransom in some of the biggest heists, such as the Colonial Pipeline attack.

“As sanctions continue to be issued, the markets become more regulated, and technologies improve at tracking the flow and sources of Bitcoin, cybercrooks will rotate away from this cryptocurrency toward other forms of value transfer,” the report noted.

Crypto scams, in recent times, have risen hand-and-hand in adoption of digital assets.

In a recent report, Chainalysis claimed that the month of October has been the worst in terms of crypto-related crimes this year. The crypto sector lost over $718 million (roughly Rs. 5,890 crore) owing to such crimes.

A recent report by BanklessTimes has claimed that Americans crypto investors lost over $1 billion (roughly Rs. 8,000 crore) in total to scammers.

Instances of cryptojacking and phishing attacks also spiked this year as more cybercriminals began injecting malware into a system to steal or mine digital assets.

The misuse of cryptocurrencies in the illegal laundering of money has been a matter of concern for India and many other nations for a while now.

Under the circumstances, the focus on driving the adoption of global rules against crypto-linked money laundering rules has become top priority for the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The Paris-based global financial watchdog has, in a way, unofficially mandated countries to abide by its anti-money laundering (AML) regulations to avoid getting ‘grey listed'.

While BTC and other cryptocurrencies are likely to not be used for criminal transactions with laws around the sector tightening up, scammers are still expected to continue swarming to the crypto sector.

Cyber criminals are projected to continue hunting for victims via fake initial token offerings (ITOs), NFTs, and smart contract exploits, the Kaspersky report noted.

It is however inevitable, that people will become more aware against potential scam-like tricks and safeguard themselves from financial risks, the report added.

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