Bitcoin server hacked: what that means for the future of Blockchain in CRE

We’ve talked before about the virtual currency bitcoin and blockchain, the distributed ledger on which bitcoin transactions are managed. These technologies matter for you because many CRE professionals view blockchain as a future platform for title management, smart contracts and secure transactions.

But in late June of this year, Bithumb, one of the world’s largest Ethereum and Bitcoin cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, was hacked.

What happened

When Bithumb was hacked, the data of 30,000 users were compromised, and $870,000 worth of bitcoin was stolen. And even though it was an employee’s computer that was hacked––not the core servers––this event raises questions about the security of virtual currency.

If there are questions about security for any such platform, including blockchain, virtual deal making platforms face an uncertain future in CRE. Here’s what you need to know.

A brief history of virtual currency hacking

There have been at least 22 cryptocurrency hacking instances leading up to the Bithumb hack, and hackers aren’t slowing down. Over the last few years, they’ve stolen hundreds of millions of dollars. Here are a few notable hacking instances:

  • March 2012: Linode webhosting is hacked and over $200,000 is stolen, but this is minimal compared to what happens later.
  • November 2013: PicoStocks exchange is hacked and more than $6 million is stolen. There are three other smaller hacks in 2013.
  • January 2014: Mt.gox exchange is hacked and more than $700 million is stolen. It’s just one of six hacks that year.
  • January 2015: In one of another six hacks in 2015, Bitstamp exchange is hacked and more than $5 million is stolen.
  • August 2016: Bitfinex exchange is hacked and more than $65 million is stolen. There are at least four other hacks in 2016.

 

What these hacks mean for the future of Blockchain in CRE

As we’ve said before, blockchain technology has a long way to go before it gains any meaningful traction in the CRE industry. It doesn’t seem that virtual currency servers are the foolproof, secure platforms many were hoping for quite yet. So even though cryptocurrency’s value is soaring, it’ll likely be some time before those dealing in CRE will feel comfortable using virtual currency and blockchain technology for transactions.

However, all great technology faces hiccups in its development. Just because crypto-currency like Bitcoin and blockchain tech may be facing a setback, they’re certainly not out of the running to be a major CRE technology of the future. The potential is still there––and it’s huge. Imagine managing every aspect of a deal seamlessly on one platform. Someday, with the help of the blockchain, you may be able to.

In the meantime, to learn more about how you can use CRE technology, access our resource on leveraging marketing technology to improve client service, win more listings & maximize your success. You can also subscribe to our blog for the latest in CRE tech and what it means for the future.