Singapore’s welcoming stance toward cryptocurrencies could attract online threats to the country, according to a cybersecurity expert.
Singapore Has Taken a Neutral Approach
Unlike China, Japan, and South Korea, who have applied a firmer hand to the cryptocurrency market, Singapore hasn’t. As a result of its crypto-friendly environment, it runs the risk of attracting online threats, said Adam Meyers, vice president of CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm.
In a report from Channel News Asia, Meyers is of the opinion that cybercriminals will see Singapore as a potential target. For example, in February, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said there was “no strong case to ban cryptocurrency trading.”
Notably, in May, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) did issue a warning to eight digital currency exchanges in the country to stop trading unregistered crypto tokens. Yet, even so, the deputy prime minister has said that cryptocurrency trading in Singapore doesn’t pose a risk to its financial system. Not only that, but unlike the U.S., Japan, or South Korea, cryptocurrency volumes are not as high, he said.
Possible Threats Lurking?
This month has seen hacks taking place at two South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges: Coinrail and Bithumb. On June 11th, Seoul-based Coinrail was the target of a “cyber intrusion.” Consequently, it lost around 30 percent of coins traded on the exchange, equating to roughly $37.28 million worth of cryptocurrencies stolen.
This was followed by fellow Seoul-based crypto exchange Bithumb last week. It was reported that thieves were able to steal $32 million worth of digital currency from the platform. These, however, are just a few of the cryptocurrency exchanges that have been hacked.
As a result, the threat to Singapore remains. According to Meyers, malware is a risk that could be introduced. This is something that many criminals are using. In February, thousands of websites worldwide were infected with malware. The intention? To use victims’ computers to mine for cryptocurrencies.
Singapore may not be a target at the moment. Yet, in Meyers’ opinion, it may be in the future. Of course, with the cryptocurrency market gaining momentum, so too is the threat from criminals.
It’s not just hacks, though, where the threats lie. Just yesterday, it was reported that digital currencies could threaten U.S. elections. Used in money laundering, some coins, such as Monero, Dash, and Zcash, are considered privacy coins. This means they are harder to trace compared to Bitcoin, making them more attractive to criminals who don’t want their activities followed.
Do you think Singapore is at risk of hacking attempts due to its crypto-friendly environment? Let us know in the comments below.
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