With the overnight news on hackers stealing $400,000 (£290,000) of crypto-currency, IT security experts commented below.

David Kennerley, Director of Threat Research at Webroot:

“This latest crypto-currency hack shows how virtual currency has become a new business model for cyber criminals. We’re still exploring the blockchain space and wallet security is more important than ever. The multi-sig wallets in question are popular among companies because they have multiple key-holders and require a majority to sign off on transactions, making it trickier for fraudulent payments to be made.

With more and more coins are appearing and alternative uses for blockchain being discovered it’s going to continue to be a high-profile target for cyber criminals. It’s not just financial transactions like Bitcoin using blockchain, but also decentralised apps and cloud storage have already been developing in the space. Without a doubt blockchain technologies will be a big part of the future, but it will take some years for the disruption of contemporary tech to take place.”

Dr Daniele Bianchi, Assistant Professor of Finance and Researches Cryptocurrency:

“Increasing value and legitimacy of cryptocurrencies is not only good for investors, but also brings attention from regulators and policymakers. As Bitcoin and altcoins are becoming more mainstream, being constantly in the spotlight, we are seeing regulators becoming more active to crack down on illegal uses.

“The situation is not the same across countries however. While the South Korean and the Chinese governments are planning to take decisive steps in monitoring and limiting trading in cryptos, the Russian government has drafted a new bill for the legalisation of cryptos trading in authorised platforms.

“We should expect a great deal of heterogeneity in the way regulators will face cryptocurrencies trading. The bottom line is that, although governments need to put in place efficient regulations that prevent investors getting into difficult situations, the way such regulations are drafted will largely depend on their view of cryptos as a useful financial innovation rather than a threat.”

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