Bitcoin Already Feeling the Brunt of Ransomware Blame

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  • Five weeks ago we predicted that Bitcoin would soon be blamed for ransomware attacks
  • These blame attacks have already started, with various outlets jumping on the bandwagon
  • The pivot to ransomware attacks was sadly predictable and will only get worse

In mid-June we suggested the three most likely factors that mainstream media outlets would use to bash Bitcoin once the news cycle had done with the environmental aspect. Among them was its volatility and the ongoing situation regarding the backing of Tether tokens, but we posited that its use by ransomware hackers would be the biggest stick with which mainstream media outlets would start beating Bitcoin. Five weeks later it is evident that that particular snowball has started rolling, with the typically anti-Bitcoin press already blaming Bitcoin for the rise in ransomware attacks around the world.

Ransomware Argument Comes to the Surface

The ransomware debate has always been lurking in the background as far as Bitcoin is concerned, but in the past few weeks it has really ratcheted up. This debate was stirred around a month ago when FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia told CNBC that there was a “direct correlation” between the growth of cryptocurrencies and the growth of ransomware demands, neatly sidestepping the fact that correlation does not equal causation.

In the days and weeks since, other outlets have jumped on the bandwagon; Bloomberg writer Jamie Tarbay claimed that cryptocurrencies have “turbocharged the cybercrime racket”; The Wall Street Journal said that companies needed to own Bitcoin in order to pay an inevitable ransomware demand; and a Guardian columnist posited that the combination of increasingly sophisticated Russian hackers and the availability of cryptocurrencies is fueling the ransomware market.

Strong Evidence of Coordinated Attacks

Setting aside the various arguments against these perspectives (don’t worry, we’ll come to that in another article), the very fact that mainstream media outlets are pivoting to the same argument at the same time after all bashing Bitcoin’s environmental issues at the same time is another sign that such criticism is coordinated. Seeing as Bitcoin is still approaching $40,000 even after such coordinated attacks however, it is clear that they are losing their power.