July 16, 2020

Why Hackers Use Bitcoin and Why It Is So Difficult to Trace

Featuring Yaya J. Fanusie

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Journalists Caitlin Ostroff, Paul Vigna

By now you have probably heard of bitcoin, even if you haven’t used it yourself. Launched 11 years ago, bitcoin is a digital currency that operates independently of third-party oversight from banks or governments. It allows two people anywhere in the world to exchange value across the internet in minutes.

Although it hasn’t found success as a mainstream, transactional currency, it is increasingly used in scams. On Wednesday, it was featured in a hack of prominent Twitter accounts. Purporting to be former President Obama, Bill Gates and Kanye West, hackers steered Twitter followers to send $1,000 in bitcoin, promising $2,000 in return. They drew more than $100,000 before the scam was shut down.

Read the full story and more from The Wall Street Journal.

Authors

  • Yaya J. Fanusie

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Energy, Economics and Security Program

    Yaya J. Fanusie is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). His research focuses on the national security implications of cryptocurrencies an...