(Reuters) – Give me your bitcoin or your life. Seriously?
FILE PHOTO: A collection of Bitcoin (virtual currency) tokens appear in this image figure 8 December 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Photo File
The people behind a rash of bomb threats made in the United States and Canada on Thursday demanded a $ 20,000 ransom to be paid in bitcoin. Authorities say none of the threats by e-mail to hundreds of companies, public offices and schools – appeared to be credible.
Frankly, the perpetrators would be better off with the demand for Turkish lira.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have long been a favorite ransom registration for cyber criminals due to the currency anonymous character. U. S. cyber security company Chainalysis estimates that from 2012 to 2017, global ransom to pay with bitcoin in a total of at least $31 million.
Anonymity in addition to, of course, the big attraction was an incredible run-up in bitcoin’s value over that time. The shot of $5 per coin at the start of 2012, nearly $ 20,000 at this time last year, according to data from Bitstamp, one of the larger bitcoin exchanges.
Today? Not so hot.
Bitcoin on Thursday was trading at about $3,250, more than 80 percent of the record high. In the last three months of the deposit to 50 percent.
Even the currencies of some crisis-hit economies such as Turkey have done better: The lira is an increase of 30 percent since August.
(IMAGE: Bitcoin falls on hard times – tmsnrt.rs/2zWLEJH)
Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss and Anna Irrera in New York; Writing by Dan Burns; Editing by Matthew Lewis