Question of the Day: Is more money stolen through hacks of cryptocurrency (e.g., bitcoin) accounts or bank robberies?

Feb 04, 2019
Question of the Day, Checking Accounts, Identity Theft

Answer: Hacks of cryptocurrency accounts

Crypto; In the first half of 2018 alone, over $1 billion was stolen from crypto accounts. Typically not protected or insured by a third party.

Bank robberies: About $2 million is stolen a year from bank robberies

  • 4,000 bank robberies average $4,000 per theft for $16 million but 86% are solved so only 14% or about $2.0 million is lost.  Note that these thefts are covered by bank insurance policies so no loss to accountholders. 
  • What do you think is safer? Bitcoin or physical currency? 
  • Would you ever invest in bitcoin? Why or why not? 
  • Many people believe that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies represent the future of money. Do you believe them? 

Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.

Behind the numbers (CNBC): 

Roughly $1.1 billion worth of cryptocurrency was stolen in the first half of 2018, and unfortunately for owners, it's pretty easy to do, according to cybersecurity company Carbon Black. Criminals use what's known as the dark web to facilitate large-scale cryptocurrency theft. There are now an estimated 12,000 marketplaces and 34,000 offerings related to cryptotheft for hackers to choose from, the company said in a study released Thursday.


Bitcoin was the recent subject in our FinCap Friday: The $17 Million Pizza


Thanks to Dana Johnson of BASIS Scottsdale for sharing this timely MarketWatch article which describes what happens on a crypto exchange when the CEO of that exchange dies (and doesn't share the password). 




About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.