Whith ransomware attacks increasing in the past months, it brings up the subject if crypto currencies need to be regulated or even banned. Some people believe that this will lead to the next wave of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) in the crypto market.
“Ransomware is setting up to be the next big FUD. What has changed is the profile of some of the attacks and the media’s coverage of this as a distinct thing.”
Crypto influencer agrees on this statement and thinks that ransomware attacks will lead to FUD, just like the “misinformation” about Bitcoins energy use created fear before that.
The Colonial Oil Pipeline shut down due to ransomware
In early May, the colonial oil pipeline shut down after hackers breached the systems. When the company found out of the breach, it shut down other key parts of their system because it wasn’t sure how extensive the breach was. Really importantly, this had an actual significant impact on people’s lives. It later came out that they company payed $4.4 million in ransom to get their systems restored. This kicked off a national conversation when people and media started paying attention to it, they began to see ransom attacks everywhere.
There are a number of different other companies also suffering from these ransomware attacks, including food supply companies. The host of the Coindesk podcast said:
“Some believe that ransomware could be the straw that breaks the camels back to ban crypto for good.”
What crypto has to do with ransomware
So, what this has to do with crypto you ask? Well, because of the nature of cryptocurrencies the ransom is often demanded in the form of crypto. Because they are decentralized, cryptocurrencies are difficult to track.
Some people even think that this is reason enough to ban crypto. An op-ed from The Wall Street Journal last week was titled: Ban Cryptocurrency To Fight Ransomware. The article says:
“The solutions floated after the Colonial hack—improved cybersecurity in the private sector and public-private collaboration to protect critical infrastructure—are pro forma and inadequate. There is a simpler and more effective way to stop the ransomware pandemic: Ban cryptocurrency. Ransomware can’t succeed without cryptocurrency. We can live in a world without cryptocurrency or a world without ransomware. But we can’t have both. It’s time for the adults to tell the children that the party is over.”
And The Bloomberg Editorial Board wrote:
“This is one area where a laissez-faire attitude towards technology and innovation cannot apply.”
Banning crypto won’t resolve the ransomware problem
But the host of the show believes the idea that banning crypto as a solution to ransomware attacks is absurd. He claims:
“Ransomware is an exploit of security vulnerabilities. To address it, it is those security vulnerabilities that must be addressed. Second the discussion of crypto banning is particularly absurd in this context unless for some reason you expect that shadowy cabals of Russian hackers are going to respect a United States crypto ban.”
So, if ransomware attacks really are a problem, then banning cryptocurrency isn’t going to stop them. And one final important detail to this story – Lee Reiners, the author of the Wall Street Journal op-ed in fact has a center with crypto addresses on their website for donations. So, it appears he’s not telling the truth about his real views on crypto.
Ransomware attacks are a problem that has to be dealt with, but they aren’t legitimate reasons to ban crypto. It is unlikely that crypto will be banned for this reason. But in the event that it were, it still wouldn’t end ransomware attacks, so it wouldn’t fix the problem.
If you liked this article you might also like: Is Bitcoin over? This is what experts say.
Aaron is passionate about blockchain and has been an investor in cryptocurrencies for the past years. He enjoys engaging with other people in the cryptocurrency community online, particularly on Telegram, and learning from experts.