Bitcoin security fears send digital wallet skyrocketing to THREE times normal price as experts warn stick to ‘safe neighbourhoods’
Crypto currency investors are being urged to stick to ‘safe neighborhoods’ after online scams sent demand for digital wallets skyrocketing.
The Nano Ledger S is currently selling for almost £250 on eBay – more than three times its normal price – as sellers capitalise on Brits who desperately want to stay safe following a spate of ‘ Bitcoin crime’.
Security fears mean manufacturers are struggling to keep up with demand, and UK shipments have been delayed until at least March 19.
But Gasper Stih, CMO of cryptocurrency project Hedge, says while scare stories are hard to ignore, it is still possible to stay safe.
He said: “There are a lot of new people entering the crypto world, so it stands to reason that there will be some mishaps along the way.
“But a lot of the scare stories are just that – the majority of crypto trades are safe and secure.
“Increased interest means there has been a huge surge in demand for the Nano S, and shipments have been delayed until March 19 as its manufacturers struggle to keep up.
“It’s a safe and popular crypto wallet for a reason, which is why they are fetching such huge sums.
“Until it becomes available in the UK at a reasonable price again, people are understandably worried about the safety of their digital cash.
“But it is not impossible to stay safe when purchasing cryptocurrency.”
Last week, a $535m heist was revealed from Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck, which was vulnerable because its store of currency was in ‘hot storage’ – meaning it was online at all times.
Digital currency wallets allow people to store Bitcoins and similar currency offline, away from hackers.
Gasper added: “There are scammers out there, but it’s the same with pickpockets in big cities – if you make the right precautions and are prepared, nothing will happen. “As long as you’re moving around nice neighborhoods – and trading on legitimate exchanges – you will be just fine.
“It is when you start digging deeper that you need to be careful.”
Last month, a young family was held at gunpoint last month, in what is thought to be Britain’s first ever digital currency heist, in Moulsford, Oxfordshire.
Online, supposedly-bona-fide crypto offers have turned out to be scams like one in November which vanished after making £264,000, and the Ethereum-based Prodeum which infamously left the word ‘penis’ on its site after disappearing.
Luckily the latter got away with just £8, but it has led to a backlash in which Facebook has blocked digital currency ads, and Lloyds Bank banking group has banned the purchase of crypto with its credit cards.
This affects eight million customers of Bank of Scotland, Halifax and MBNA.
According to blockchain tracking company Cainanalysis, more than three million Bitcoins have been lost – which accounts for around 14 percent of the currency in existence.
To avoid being ripped off, even when dealing in comparatively tiny sums, Gasper Stih of Hedge recommends being careful where you do business.
“A lot of people fall down by sending coins to businesses they thing k are legitimate,” he said.
“Stick to well-known and trustworthy coin exchanges like Coinbase and Bitstamp.
“Try to avoid keeping cash in an online wallet. When you have made purchases, store them in offline wallets like the Ledge Nano S or the Trezor.
“These look just like USB pens.
“Also, keep all your passwords safe, and be wary of phishing or social engineering attacks which will try to fool you into revealing them – never give them out over the phone, on the internet or via email.”
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