Crypto-Related Crimes to Exceed All Other Cyberattacks in 2018, Says Israeli Expert

According to an expert at the Israeli cybersecurity firm Check Point Software Technologies (CHKP), crypto-related crimes would exceed the number of all other cyberattacks in 2018, the Times Of Israel reports June 22. The expert defined “cryptocurrency-related cyberattacks” as any form of cybercrime that involves crypto, including scams and hacks.

Speaking on a panel at the “Blockchain, The New Digital Age” event at Tel Aviv University, CHKP expert Lotem Finkelsteen said that illegal activity in the initial coin offering (ICO) market is the main obstacle to the development of blockchain technology.

“Not a day goes by without our hearing about a new ICO scam or mining attack,” said Finkelsteen. He argued that blockchain is now “suffering from reputational damage,” because it is associated cryptocurrencies and ICOs.

Despite optimism from other panel participants about the potential of blockchain and crypto technology, Haim Pinto, the CTO of Israel’s largest bank Hapoalim argued that blockchain is “still in a hype cycle.” Pinto said that there are no existing blockchain-powered deployments “that are dependably usable,” particularly regarding the banking system.

Pinto stated that the technology is not ready for broad adoption, saying, “We can’t just take it and use it.” He added:

“Distributed general ledgers cannot erase anything… In addition, there are mathematical challenges. Distributed general ledgers can’t scale up to the volume of transactions we need to serve.”

While blockchain technology has been recently considered not mature enough by the Russian Central Bank, the benefits of the technology are still being explored globally by banking and financial institutions.

Earlier this week, major Spanish banking consortium Niuron revealed plans to introduce a blockchain-based client identification verification system. Earlier in June, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) unveiled a blockchain-powered project to digitize paper checks. In May, seven of India’s largest banks launched a blockchain-based trade finance initiative led by Indian IT giant InfoSys.