Summary of Once Hailed as Unhackable, Blockchains are now Getting Hacked

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Once Hailed as Unhackable, Blockchains are now Getting Hacked summary
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Often advertised as a safe place to invest and speculate, blockchain-based cryptocurrency exchanges present a tantalizing opportunity to hackers. As an increasing number of mega-hacks are revealed, even the largest platforms such as Bitcoin and Coinbase acknowledge some risk. Companies specializing in thwarting sophisticated digital thieves propose solutions such as network kill switches and eliminating smart-contract bugs. Regardless, billions of dollars per year disappear into cyberspace, without a chance of recovery. This is a must-read article for anyone considering trading on a cryptocurrency platform.

About the Author

Mike Orcutt is an associate editor of MIT Technology Review, focusing on the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchains.



Recent blockchain attacks reveal vulnerabilities in cryptocurrency exchanges.

In January 2019, hackers siphoned about $200,000 from, a popular exchange trading Ethereum Classic cryptocurrency. Taking control of just over half of the company’s computer network (known as a 51% attack), the cyber thieves rewrote transactions in its blockchain in order to double-spend the currency. Using similar schemes, cyber criminals have stolen almost $2 billion in cryptocurrency since 2017.

Blockchains offer exceptional security features to financial institutions, but hackers find ways to break through.


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