BTC

Crypto prices drop after US officials recover $2.3M in Bitcoin ransom

Wednesday, June 9, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures

Bite your coin... and your nails. Bitcoin fell to its lowest level in months yesterday — its crypto buddies Ether and Dogecoin fell, too. The dip happened after US officials recovered $2.3M in crypto that was paid as ransom to the Colonial Pipeline hackers. ICYMI: the US' largest fuel pipeline got hacked last month. Colonial paid the hackers $4.4M in Bitcoin to reclaim its systems.

  • Bye bye, Bitcoin: Investigators accessed the password for one of the hackers’ Bitcoin wallets, and managed to seize more than half of the ransom.
  • Hello, Feds: The $$$ was recovered by the newly launched Ransomware and Digital Extortion Task Force, which was created as part of the government's response to surging cyberattacks.

Bitcoin for hostage... The ransomware surge has been putting a negative spotlight on Bitcoin. One cyber expert called BTC the "oxygen that fuels this ransomware fire." Now, the US government is getting involved as hackers are increasingly targeting critical infrastructure. Experts believe Russia is funding this "ransomware plague."

  • This month, Earth's largest meat producer got hit. And Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said that bad actors are likely trying to shut down the US power grid "as we speak."
THE TAKEAWAY

The Feds pulled back the curtain... Hackers who hijack computer systems demand payment in BTC, because it's hard to trace — but yesterday's ransom recovery proved it's not impossible. It's a big win for the government, because ransomware is rarely recovered. But it may have raised concerns over the security and anonymity of Bitcoin. Another potential reason behind the crypto drop: fear that a regulatory clampdown is coming for the crypto space.