Bitcoin – what do I do if mine is stolen?

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7/12/2017 Big news for bitcoin again today as the cryptocurrency’s value pushed through $16,000 – and $64 million was stolen from a major bitcoin marketplace by hackers.

In what marks another landmark for the cryptocurrency, the value of bitcoin shot higher once again. However, concerns remain around the volatile currency, with Valve, the developer of Steam, prohibiting users of the gaming platform from paying in bitcoin.

The Royal Bank of Scotland has also come out against investment in bitcoin, with Sir Howard Davies describing the digital currency as looking like a “frothy investment bubble”.

Meanwhile, Slovenian bitcoin marketplace NiceHash has encountered problems of its own, with approximately $64 million stolen from its wallet by hackers. NiceCash, which lets users earn bitcoin by giving over their computer’s processing power for bitcoin mining (the process of adding transaction details to Bitcoin’s ledger – known as a “blockchain”).

We won’t try to advise you on investing in bitcoin – we’re not a financial advisor! We will, however, remind you that any volatile investment is a risk! When it comes to hackers stealing your bitcoin, however, we can give you some advice. Theoretically, all you can do if your bitcoin is stolen is report it to the police – since bitcoin doesn’t fall under any traditional regulatory body. In theory, it’s possible to track your stolen currency by monitoring the blockchain – in practice, however, this is made difficult by both the anonymous nature of the currency and the fact that the thief will most likely use a bitcoin exchange to trade the currency for normal cash straight away.

You should, however, immediately stop all work on the computer you believe has been targeted. Make sure you double-check that you haven’t been targeted by any malware. It’s unlikely that you’ll get your money back, but you can at least protect yourself against future theft!

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