NEW YORK (Reuters) – Crypto intelligence company CipherTrace, which started tracking cryptocurrency crime a few years ago, said it has started to see coronavirus-related frauds that require some form of digital currency payment.
Losses from cryptocurrency thefts, hacks, and frauds soared to nearly $1.4 billion from the beginning of the year until the end of May, a report from CipherTrace showed.
The proportion traced to coronavirus fraud involving cryptocurrencies for the first five months of the year was minimal, CipherTrace said, but it did not give a specific figure.
This year’s crypto crime is on track to be the second largest on record after last year’s $4.5 billion in losses.
“Consumers, investors, and users continue to adopt cryptocurrency at a massive rate and it is by far the fastest-growing payment system on the planet,” Dave Jevans, CipherTrace chief executive officer, told Reuters.