Private Key Negligence: BBC Journalist Reveals How He Was Robbed £25,000 in Ethereum

Monty Munford on Crypto theft

Monty Munford, a tech journalist for the BBC, has shared the story of how he lost £25,000 in cryptocurrency due to his own negligence.

Cryptocurrencies are the path to true economic freedom and decentralization. However, until there are proper checks and balances in place to protect those who understand less of how the technology works and how it can be exploited, cryptocurrencies will continue to be used by unscrupulous swindlers to defraud people and rob them of their hard-earned money. To truly protect your digital assets from theft, hacking and manipulation, you have to gain a deep understanding of web security. Like Monty Munford, many don’t understand the pitfalls of these magical virtual coins and continue to fall victim to these cons.

Munford’s story is no different. In the article, he describes how he first got interested in Bitcoin(BTC)trade and its other alternatives (alt-coins). He notes that he has always been a “lunch-time adopter” as he never finds himself to be an early adopter. In 2017, when Bitcoin was hitting its peak of $20,000, Munford explains how he made the fateful decision of investing his money mainly in Ethereum (ETH)trade, an up and coming alt-coin at the time with the same potential as Bitcoin.

As we know, the bubble of magical growth popped early in 2018. However, Munford’s troubles started long before then. When he chose to invest his money in Ethereum, Munford made the mistake of storing the private key to his wallet in his Gmail drafts. A naive mistake that any web security professional would shake his head over.

A few months later, when Munford came back to extract his funds, he realized his mistake and immediately faces the consequences. He writes:

“I saw with horror that all of my Ethereum – about £25,000’s worth – had already been taken out; the cupboard was bare. It had been moved to another private key address and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. There seemed to be no-one to complain to.”

He contacted Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange which seemed to be the recipient of the stolen funds. However, Binance only reacted to his request once a fraud crime number was attached. Initial investigation by Binance found that the stolen funds could be traced back to generic IP address in Hong Kong. However, as is the case many such incidents involving cryptocurrencies, the identity of the perpetrator is all but impossible to find.

In the end, Munford warns his readers who are newcomers to the crypto market. He tells them to learn from his mistakes and ensure the safety of their wallets.

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