Bitcoin has grown in value quite a bit this year and with it comes a sizeable economy. Because of this, the network effect has increased, and a lot more people are now associated with the bitcoin environment.
However, cryptocurrency enthusiasts, individuals working in the bitcoin industry, and everyday holders are being targeted for their digital gold.
How Many Bitcoins Do You Hold?
Has anyone ever asked you how many bitcoins you have? Just because you believe in the cryptocurrency revolution, or you get paid in bitcoin, people seem to always want to know – How many bitcoins do you own? The question is akin to asking how much someone is worth in public or asking a random person how much they have in their savings account. But for some reason, people still ask, and sometimes people have other inclinations as well.
For instance, with bitcoin’s value being so high, people often assume that just because you ‘bitcoin’ you must be rich. “Are you a bitcoin millionaire?” they ask. People should understand that just like any financial matter, that bitcoin holdings are private and should be kept a secret. Taking that a step further, if someone happens to disclose they do own bitcoin people shouldn’t assume that the bitcoiner is exceptionally wealthy either. But for now, with blockchain technology being so new and so foreign, people are very curious about the decentralized currency we all love.
Early Adopters and Bitcoin Luminaries Find Themselves In Dangerous Positions
Everyone knows, including malicious hackers that bitcoin has risen in value exponentially in 2017, which makes stealing people’s digital gold a lucrative profession these days. Over the past few years, bitcoiners have become targets for their wealth, and hackers are using all types of methods to drain an individual’s wallet.
Last year the rise in cryptocurrency theft had grown exponentially as attackers had stolen millions of dollars worth of bitcoin that year, according to the tech columnist Laura Shin’s well-researched report. With a bit of social engineering and just a phone number bitcoin luminaries like Jered Kenna, Brock Pierce, Adam Draper, Charlie Shrem, and many others have been robbed. Kraken’s CEO, Jesse Powell, wrote a very compelling blog post on the subject stating;
If you are in any way publicly involved in cryptocurrency, consider yourself an active target. You need to immediately audit the security of your accounts – especially email, social media, social networking and mobile phone.
Flaunting Your Bling or Leaving Your Seed Out In the Open
These types of attacks are still happening throughout 2017, but as bitcoin’s market price rises so do people’s mouths, and loose ‘lips sink ships.’ There have been many instances of people flaunting their wealth of bitcoins and subsequently getting robbed shortly after. Ten days ago news.Bitcoin.com reported on a Turkish man who was robbed of his 450 BTC or $4.2M at current spot prices. Of course, the worst part of the story is that he was targeted because he was flaunting his luxurious bitcoiner lifestyle across social media. The gang picked up the wealthy bitcoin holder off the streets of Merter and forced him to empty his laptop.
Bitcoin millionaires should be cautious because sometimes flaunting your wealth can be dangerous.
Another bad idea is leaving your wallet’s seed phrase out in the open. This past May in a chat discussion between a group of individuals reveals a guy contemplating stealing his ‘friends’ stash of 70 BTC. During the conversation one person eggs him on saying, “steal it, dude, there ain’t no regulations in this motherfucker.” The person left his Electrum seed out in the open, and because his so-called buddy wrote all the words down, he could easily lose $670,000 if the guy followed through with the theft.
The Bottom Line: Keep Your Bitcoin Business Private
The fact is it’s no one’s business how many bitcoins you own, and this type of information is private, and people should know better. Further just because an individual does possess cryptocurrency doesn’t make them a ‘bitcoin millionaire.’ Lastly leaving your private information out in the open or bragging about it on social media is not the greatest idea because thieves and even jealous friends can become very real.