Crypto owners urged to expand knowledge
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Crypto owners urged to expand knowledge

Asset bubble attracts hackers

The skyrocketing prices of cryptocurrencies are expected to draw fraudsters to the market.
The skyrocketing prices of cryptocurrencies are expected to draw fraudsters to the market.

The jump in cryptocurrency prices this year is likely to attract hackers to digital assets held in Thailand, where the damage caused by hackers to digital assets tallied US$24.2 billion (867 billion baht) last year, says the Thai Digital Asset Association.

Suppakrit Boonsat, the association's director and a founder of Bitcast, a digital asset education organisation, said cryptocurrency prices have skyrocketed this year, attracting investors as well as fraudsters to the market.

"Everyone expects the cryptocurrency market to be on a bull run this year, thanks mainly to the launch of spot Bitcoin exchanged-traded funds and the halving of Bitcoin, when coin production is cut by half, which happens every four years," said Mr Suppakrit.

Surging coin prices makes them more attractive to hackers because the cost of carrying out the theft remains unchanged, but the rewards increase as more people enter the market, he said.

According to Mr Suppakrit, storing cryptocurrencies is often problematic, which has delayed the development of the crypto market in Thailand.

"Many people are accustomed to relying on service providers such as Marketti, because if any damage occurs, those organisations are ready to help recover or reverse transactions," he said.

"But this does not apply to online financial services in this era, especially for crypto transactions where reversing a transaction is impossible," said Mr Suppakrit.

"If an asset is stolen, the money cannot be recovered. The cheapest and most effective tactic is to prevent the damage from occurring."

Another problem is a lack of crypto knowledge.

"We know we have the coins in our possession in a wallet. But some people don't really know how to prove ownership," he said. "If investors understand proof of ownership, they will know what they really need to protect."

Cryptocurrency is safe because it is stored in the blockchain system, which is impossible to hack, said Mr Suppakrit. The goal for hackers is the private key.

"If a hacker manages to get the private key, he or she can claim to be the owner of the asset and do anything with it," he said.

In addition, investors don't understand digital asset storage. They don't need to rely on an exchange, which most people think of as a place to store Bitcoin and other digital assets simply because the exchange operator has better skills than the average investor, said Mr Suppakrit.

As technology rapidly changes, many investors are unable to keep up with techniques in place to protect assets against hackers. Every investor must learn, adapt and update their knowledge constantly, he said.

"With better understanding, I believe preserving assets will be easy and they will be safer from hacking," said Mr Suppakrit.

To ensure market growth is sustainable, investors must have knowledge, awareness and use the appropriate technology, he said.

Later this year, Bitcast plans to launch new services such as a crypto wallet recovery service for investors, including for assets stuck in a wallet that cannot be managed manually, as well as services to help investors store their assets safely, said Mr Suppakrit.

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