Most of them are due to various security flaws in digital wallet management services, according to a study by KPMG.
A study by KPMG, a global network of auditing, legal and tax and financial and business advisory companies present in 156 countries, warns of the vulnerability of the cryptocurrency market and its need to “improve the way it ensures digital assets”.
Specifically, as reported by the international media Bloomberg, "hackers" have stolen at least $9.8 billion of those digital assets since 2017, due to "lax security or poorly written code," says the accounting firm. in your report.
"The adoption of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether among institutional investors has led to competition for a place in portfolios, making token protection more important than ever," says KPMG.
And from the consultancy they warn: "Institutional investors especially will not risk owning crypto assets if their value cannot be safeguarded in the same way that their cash, stocks and bonds are".
Cryptocurrencies are bearer instruments such as cash or certain types of bonds, which means that the owner is the owner. However, what is kept, known as a private key, is a random string of characters stored in a digital wallet or on a piece of paper.
When a user loses that key or it is stolen, the asset disappears forever.
That makes key custody a challenge for traditional financial companies accustomed to protecting non-digital assets.
"The industry needs to deal with stricter rules on cryptocurrency storage for customers," they conclude from KPMG.
"As with all financial transactions, banks and brokers must comply with customer awareness and anti-money laundering standards," they insist.
Even financial institutions established with mature compliance programs must "improve their methodologies to address unique considerations for encryption assets and challenges related to data management," according to the firm.