It’s another rough day for bitcoin. The cryptocurrency is down almost 10% as of the time of this writing to just under $32,800 per coin. So what’s the reason for bitcoin’s plummet this time? China? Japan? Elon Musk?
None of the above. This time bitcoin’s fall likely has to do with the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack, reports CNBC. The pipeline was targeted by malware on May 7, effectively shutting down the transport of gas to the East Coast. In order to regain control of its systems, Colonial Pipeline paid the ransom of about 75 bitcoin—worth about $4.4 million at the time.
But as of yesterday, the FBI seized a majority of that bitcoin ransom, enabling the agency to recover 63.7 bitcoin, or about $2.3 million. As Fast Company reported:
So why did this seizure contribute to bitcoin’s almost 10% drop? It’s likely because it shows that bitcoin isn’t as secure as many people once believed. Just because transactions are done in bitcoin doesn’t mean they are untouchable by national governments.