Is ransomware driving up the price of Bitcoin?

By Jareth, EMISOFT Blog

(n.b.) Ed Cartwright and David Wall are cited in the following article.

Cybercriminals may be partially responsible for driving up the price of Bitcoin. It’s no secret that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have had an enabling effect on cybercrime. Now, we believe the inverse may also be true – that cybercrime, and ransomware in particular, is helping stimulate the cryptocurrency economy and inflating the value of Bitcoin. Bitcoin: a key part of the ransomware model Bitcoin has proven to be a tempestuous creature, climbing to an all-time high value of almost $20,000 in December 2017, dropping to below $3,500 in January 2019 and bouncing back to around the $10,000 mark today. While there are many factors behind these extreme fluctuations, we believe ransomware may be fueling the growth of Bitcoin. Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a victim’s files. To regain access to the files, the victim has to pay a ransom, the cost of which can range from a few hundred dollars for home users, to hundreds of thousands of dollars for major corporations and public entities. The ransom is usually paid in cryptocurrency, and that cryptocurrency is usually Bitcoin. Bitcoin accounted for about 98 percent of ransomware payments made in the first quarter of 2019, according to figures from ransomware recovery specialists Coveware. As a result, Bitcoin has become an inextricable part of the ransomware model. . . . cont . . .

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