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According to a report released on Tuesday from the US-based cyber security firm CipherTrace, the theft of cryptocurrencies from exchanges has risen to almost three times since 2017.

CipherTrace is a company that specializes in forensic tools and services for the crypto markets. The company estimates that the losses could very well rise to 1,5 billion this year.

Dave Javens, the chief executive officer of CipherTrace, told Reuters in an interview that: “Stolen cryptocurrencies are three times bigger this year than last year, so the trend is obviously not our friend here.”

He then went on to add that stolen virtual currencies usually help criminals hide their identities and avoid arrest. He also hinted at the fact that this resulted in a three-fold rise in money laundering of cryptocurrencies.

The risks of digital currencies

This idea is confirmed by other security specialists such as Joseph Carson, chief security scientists at Thycotic who shared his thoughts on the matter in an Express.co.uk interview.

“The risks from digital currencies are huge. The main types of crime using digital currencies today is mostly with tax avoidance, illegal drugs, cracked software or counterfeit goods, while you can purchase legal goods like pay for hotels, music or even buy a house but the majority of digital currencies are used for illegal purposes. […] The main reason why crime has excelled is because the currency is decentralized and money can be moved across borders without the government knowing.”

Carson went further to say that this apparent lack of securities affects the chances of cryptocurrency being adopted by banks, governments, or other institutions. It’s Carson’s belief that “the majority of digital currencies are used for illegal purposes.”

Digital currencies perceived as a good thing

Be that as it may, the large majority of illicit activities such as money laundering are still done using regular cash and not cryptocurrencies. Despite the risks and various criminal activities rightfully or unfairly associated with cryptocurrencies, Carson is a big supporter of digital currencies. However, he thinks that cryptos have still a long way to go.

“Unfortunately, the hype led to many investors seeing it as a quick win though that bubble will likely come to reality in the near future. Digital currencies are absolutely a good thing but before people start paying for daily goods a clear stable and scalable digital currency will have to be decided,” he declared in an interview for a daily national middle market newspaper.

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