The value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has skyrocketed over the past year. At the start of June 2017, bitcoin – the world’s most popular cryptocurrency – was worth about $2,280. By mid-December, it was worth over $19,000. Other cryptocurrencies have also seen their values rise dramatically. Last year, the 10 best-performing cryptocurrencies posted average gains of 14,000 percent.
But as values have risen, so too have incidents of cryptocurrency theft. In a new report, the Anti-Phishing Working Group says about $1.2 billion in cryptocurrency has been stolen since the start of 2017.
The report also says that only 20 percent or less of the stolen cryptocurrency has been recovered.
Financial regulators and market analysts broadly worry that the lack of cryptocurrency regulation facilitates not only hacking and theft, but also money laundering, terrorism funding, and other illicit activities.