According to CCN, as of July 2018, a total of 6 million BTC are left inaccessible and permanently lost on the bitcoin blockchain. James Lopp, former lead engineer at BitGo and engineer at CasaHODL, revealed that an estimated 4 million BTC are lost and 2 million BTC are stolen.
In the cryptocurrency area as a whole, the list that is taken from Enterprise Times shows the cryptocurrency theft as of June 2018.
|Name||Reported Loss (Crypto)||Reported Loss (USD)||Occurred On|
|Misconfigured Ethereum Clients Incident||38,680 ETH||20,000,000||Jun-18|
|Bithumb Exchange hack
|Coinrail Exchange hack
|2.6 billion NPXS|
|93 million ATX|
|831 million DENT|
|BTC Global Ponzi Scam||N/A||50,000,000||Mar-18|
|Bee Token Phishing||890 ETH||928,000||Feb-18|
|BitGrail Theft||17,000,000 NANO||170,000,000||Feb-18|
|BlackWallet Theft||670,000 XLM||400,000||Jan-18|
As it can be seen from the table, most theft activities happened on exchanges and web wallets or desktop software wallets (hot wallets). The technics to commit these activities do not seem to be complicated. Phishing attacks are prevalent ways to stole cryptocurrency from its users. Users may be traced by hackers when they post their cryptocurrency related information on social media. Their accounts which do not use two-factor authentication (2FA) could then be easily compromised by hackers.
There are many ways that cryptocurrency users should follow to protect their cryptocurrency. It is recognised that one of the most effective ways to secure your cryptocurrency is to have a hardware wallet of your own. As a hardware wallet will store your private key offline and no one can access it except yourself with your PIN and/or Passphrase.
It is not easy to find a value hardware wallet on the market. At the moment, there are two major manufacturers on Australian market. One is Ledger and the other one is Trezor. They offer different types of hardware wallets for you to choose. Of course, the price is costly as you will need to pay extra shipping fees for these devices since they are owned by overseas companies. You would pay from equivalent A$140 to A$370 plus the shipping fee for one device.
It is spotted that there is an Australian brand, OctoWallet, going to launch its hardware wallet to this market soon. It is worth following it up to see whether an Australian owned hardware wallet could bring more benefits to Australian cryptocurrency users.