Bitcoin and virtual currencies being undermined by rising criminality, says McAfee
The idealism and convenience behind virtual currencies such as Bitcoin is at risk of being undermined as abuse by professional criminals grows to unacceptable levels, a report by security firm McAfee has argued.
The catalogue of practical and conceptual problems listen in the firm’s Digital Laundry overview is perhaps not particularly original – numerous critics have spotted potential flaws in virtual currency systems – but serves as a timely reminder of their growing importance to cybercriminals.
Only two weeks ago, the FBI closed down the Silk Road website, arresting its operator Ross William Ulbricht and seizing several millions of dollars of Bitcoins alleged to have been connected to drug sales. So far so bad but it got worse; the site also appeared to be offering other criminal services such as a hitman-for-hire service, all made possible by the peer-to-peer anonymity of virtual Bitcoins