Online theft is a fact of life nowadays, but yesterday a BitCoin user woke to find his haul of virtual currency had been plundered. A user with the handle allinvain found 25,000 BitCoins had been stolen. If the thief were to cash-out he or she would net just about $500,000 at current BitCoin-US Dollar exchange rates.
The issue is whether Bitcoin will ever be so widely adopted that it acts like a real, stable currency. Right now, it’s more like a commodity with wild price swings on rumors, articles, anonymous chat-board postings, and well-publicized problems with theft. Most people should wait at least until those issues are resolved. Generally, however, average folks shouldn’t be making direct forays into currency trading; Bitcoin feels a bit like online investing, but it’s more like diving into foreign exchange with even less information on which to make currency calls.
A Bitcoin transaction services company says that hackers broke into one of its brokerage accounts last week, nabbing more than $12,000 worth of the digital currency. That attack knocked Bitinstant offline over the weekend. The company says that while it lost Bitcoins, no customers were affected by the hack.The criminals were able to take control of Bitinstant’s internet domains by convincing its domain registrar, Site5, to hand over control of the company’s Domain Name Service.
In a sure sign that the virtual currency Bitcoin has hit the mainstream, a new Trojan horse program discovered in the wild Thursday seeks out and steals victims’ Bitcoin wallets, the same way other malware goes for their banking passwords or credit card numbers.
Bitcoin sounds like something from science fiction: A purely digital currency, created by an anonymous hacker, that operates outside the world's traditional banking systems. The four-year-old currency is very real, though, and it's trading an all-time high, tripling in value in the last two months alone. One bitcoin is was worth about $40 U.S. dollars on Tuesday, and surged on Wednesday to nearly $49. That's up from around $13 in January, and 5 cents in 2010, according to Mt. Gox, the bitcoin market's main exchange.
As it is portrayed on FTL, the bitcoin store is all about serving the bitcoin community, i.e. "selling for cost." lol Seriously? The store is selling/gambling on upward valuation. It's not a "charity" type enterprise at all. It hedges it's sales on the hope that what it takes in low bitcoin value will be able to sell back to legitimate currency at a far greater rate.
The last time we wrote about Bitcoin, in October, the currency's future looked grim. A series of security incidents had created an avalanche of bad press, which in turn undermined public confidence in the currency. Its value fell by more than 90 percent against the dollar. We thought Bitcoin's value would continue to collapse, but so far that hasn't happened. Instead, after hitting a low of $2, it rose back above $3 in early December, and on Monday it rose above $4 for the first time in two months.