"The world of cryptocurrencies is a wild market." The phrase comes from Monty Munford, a former British Forbes columnist who was hacked and lost £ 25,000 in ethereum.
At lunchtime, Munford used to try out the technological news he himself reported. Whenever he met someone who told him about bitcoin, ethereum, Munford scorned. As he described it, that world was not for him.
"I had absolutely no intention of investing or speculating," he wrote in his own article, published by the BBC last month.
Bitcoin and ethereum on the rise
In 2017, when bitcoin nearly topped $ 20,000 (at the time, about $ 70,000 in Brazil), as he himself put it, curiosity surpassed it - not only for Bitcoin but also for Ethereum and some other cryptocurrencies.
In fact, it was at ethereum that Munford bet most of his chips, confident that the crypto could reach the same levels as Bitcoin.
He then made the first investment, a little insecure and afraid of that click to make him lose everything, but he did. The project was for the long term.
From there begins the story of how Munford "burned his fingers in the dark world of cryptocurrency investing."
"It's bad enough to know that someone has lost £ 25,000 of their hard-earned money, but the worst thing is that there is little chance of getting it back," he wrote.
He referred to the nature of transactions in the cryptocurrency market - once effective, has no return and is very difficult by tracking down people.
Munford says there were two ways to keep his crypto assets - in an exchange or in an encrypted digital wallet. It was the time when he learned of some cases of hacking theft. He then decided to keep the funds in MyEtherWallet .
It received your keys, public and private, and stored them securely like any other financial document.
In addition to printing the information, he also inserted it into drafts in Gmail - making it easy to find when he needed it.
This attitude he called fatal because there is malware that 'sniffs out' a private key.
But he also believes that writing a key on paper can be just as dangerous. "A fire, a flood, or even a pet can end up destroying," he said.
The disappearance of ethereum
"When the price of Ethereum skyrocketed, I found myself sitting on a large pile of money."
According to the report, he had not used his private key to access the account for some time. As the price of cryptocurrencies began to fall as far back as 2018, he thought it was time to get something out.
However, everything disappeared, the journalist said.
“When I tried to cash out it was a real horror. All of my Ethereum - about 25,000 pounds - had already been removed; the closet was empty, ”he reported.
Worst of all, he said, was the knowledge that an ethereum transaction could not be reversed and that there was no insurance against theft, as is the case with traditional banks.
His background had been removed somewhere and he didn't even know who to complain about. But he had some support. According to the people who helped him, the fund was moved from his wallet and sent to Binance and 1 hour later for another exchange.
Munford was in despair when he realized that Binance answered him only every 72 hours, except for automatic messages when he persisted.
According to the exchange, she would not move until there was a police report. He then did so at Action Fraud, which is the UK's cybercrime reporting center.
Ethereum in pieces
However, six months went by and no answers. He even searched the bounty hunters to split the fund if they found it, but nothing was resolved.
One of these groups, CipherBlade, still managed to go further. They found that Munford's fund had been fragmented and distributed to other portfolios.
"I sent the CipherBlade report to Action Fraud and things finally started to change."
The Sussex County Intelligence Service had come to him - they were tracking the IPs used in criminal actions. However, no names have been detailed.
"The investigations are still ongoing and none of my money back," he said.
And warned, "Learn from my mistakes."