By now, I'm sure most people will know what bitcoin is, but for those of you that haven't ventured into the geeky parts of the interwebs, I'll explain.
Essentially bitcoin is a virtual currency which is generated on your computer. It can be sold to other users or exchanged for services and goods. It has come under fire from law agencies as it has been linked with narcotics websites as a use of payment. Like any currency, the market value of a BitCoin can fluctuate. Recently, BitCoin’s value had skyrocketed, up to nearly $30 US from $5 in a span of about a month.
Obviously this skyrocketing in value grabbed many people's attention and they jumped on the bandwagon.
A certain bitcoin user who had been an early adopter of the virtual currency, had watch his little gold coins generate and build up in his "virtual wallet." With the news of the value dramatically increasing you can imagine his giddy excitement when he looked at what his coins were worth... $467,500. So you can only imagine his reaction when he logged onto his computer and found out he had been literally robbed. His coins were gone.
Now the thing with bitcoins is, it is like real money you have in your wallet. There's no "reverse transaction" like there is with Paypal. Although, then that would mean you'd have to deal with Paypal, I'd rather just let someone steal my money. So when his money had been deposited into someone else's account, anonymously, it was in essence, gone.
The user, whose forum nickname is "Allinvain" - which, is alarmingly fitting looked for help on the bitcoin forum. Unfortunately the stance of the bitcoin developers is that the transactions are anonymous and so they is no way to tell if this is a legitimate claim. Other users are sympathetic towards Allinvain and are nervous that this may have been caused by a security flaw in the bitcoin service itself, while others think Allinvain may have had his computer infected.
I can only imagine what Allinvain feels right now. I don't personally use the service myself, but this is a harsh reminder of always keep your money safe. Virtual or physical.
Filed under: bitcoin hacker stolen money