Research from the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) has reported that about $1.2 bln in cryptocurrencies have been stolen since the start of 2017, Reuters reported Thursday, May 24.

The $1.2 bln figure is a combination of both reported and unreported thefts, with about 20 percent or less estimated to have been recovered.

Dave Jevans, the CEO of cryptocurrency security firm CipherTrace and chairman of the APWG, told Reuters that the new General Data Protection Regulation from the European Union - which comes into effect May 25 - will negatively affect global law enforcement agencies ability to find criminals stealing cryptocurrency:

“GDPR will negatively impact the overall security of the internet and will also inadvertently aid cybercriminals. By restricting access to critical information, the new law will significantly hinder investigations into cybercrime, cryptocurrency theft, phishing, ransomware, malware, fraud and crypto-jacking.”

As the new GDPR regulations will mean that European domain data will no longer be added to the WHOIS Internet database, investigators will lose access to data needed for prosecution of cybercriminals:

“So what we’re going to see is that not only the European market goes dark for all of us; so all the bad guys will flow to Europe because you can actually access the world from Europe and there’s no way you can get the data anymore.”

A Cointelegraph Expert Take from March detailed how the GDPR would affect blockchain, with the takeaway that the GDPR and blockchain may be in direct conflict since blockchain’s core technology revolves around decentralized networks and the GDPR framework was written with the assumption that personal data is stored in a centralized system.

However, the Expert Take notes that the vagueness of some sections of the GDPR, particularly in regards to the right to data erasure, may allow for interpretation favorable to blockchain.