As several companies in the crypto space work hard to up the ante on their security offerings and lower the prospects of illicit trading, it looks like something is doing the job for them… the coronavirus.
The Coronavirus Is Having a “Reverse Effect” of Sorts
The global pandemic has made its way to virtually every corner of the world, with over one million cases and more than 100,000 deaths recorded at press time. Aside from the toll it’s taken on human life, the virus has also had a massively negative effect on world economies, and the crypto space is no exception.
Bitcoin fell into the high $3,000 range in mid-March once the virus was declared a global pandemic. While it has since added an additional $3,000 to its price, there is still lots of room for improvement considering the asset was trading for over $10,300 in February. Other assets, such as Ethereum, bitcoin cash and Ripple have also taken hard turns to the south.
Gold has fallen by about $400 per ounce, while the stock market has experienced some nasty dives over the past few weeks. No matter how you look at it, the coronavirus had done more harm than good.
Still, that doesn’t mean the situation has been all bad. According to blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis, the amount of illicit bitcoin and crypto trading occurring within the space has fallen by more than 30 percent over the past several weeks thanks to the coronavirus virtually eliminating most cryptocurrency activity. Ponzi schemes and similar tactics have fallen into disarray, so while people may be losing money due to the struggling market, they’re not necessarily losing it to bad actors.
In a statement, Chainalysis explained:
We find that the loss of value is caused almost entirely by cryptocurrency price drops. Nearly all these scams have received the same or more value per day in their native coins since the crisis intensified in early March. In short, while COVID-19 is providing some scammers with new fraudulent stories to entice victims, the cryptocurrency price drops spurred by the pandemic have drastically reduced the revenue potential of the biggest scams.
Microsoft has also reported additional good news in that the number of phishing attempts including coronavirus-related data, links or attachments is still less than two percent of the daily threats Microsoft witnesses. In all, approximately 60,000 COVID-based phishing emails are sent out each day, which is a small number given the amount of Microsoft account holders and internet users there are in the world.
Things Are Changing, Not Growing
In a blog post, Microsoft writes:
Our data shows that these COVID-19 themed threats are retreads of existing attacks that have been slightly altered to tie to this pandemic. This means we’re seeing a changing of lures, not a surge in attacks.