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Bitcoin passes the ransom test

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The classic ransom is a suitcase full of unmarked U.S. dollar bills. Bitcoin’s role in the Colonial Pipeline hack shows the global currency of crime has a rival. That’s a sort of sign of bitcoin’s success, but it also sets the scene for regulators to step up their interventions. reports that Colonial’s predicament spotlights bitcoin’s ease of use. A week ago, the fuel transport company paid a ransom of nearly $5 million in the digital currency to regain access to its computer systems, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. In 2017, one of the biggest ransomware attacks called WannaCry demanded payment in bitcoin from more than 200,000 victims. A year later, more than half of such breaches demanded bitcoin, according to cybersecurity firm PurpleSec.

It reflects the rapid acceptance of the 12-year-old cryptocurrency. The market value of all the bitcoin in circulation, totaling almost 19 million, surpassed $1 trillion for the first time in February. It’s now trading at around $50,360, according to digital currency exchange Coinbase.

It has become more common in everyday transactions too. Last year, National Football League player Russell Okung became the first in the sport to have at least part of his salary paid in bitcoin. More home sellers are accepting cryptocurrency, particularly in countries that have weak fiat currencies like Argentina.

2021.05.15 / 12:56
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