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Mainstream? One-in-ten people now use cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency, often associated with crime or those looking to raise cash quickly, has turned into a popular payment method. According to a recent report from Kaspersky Lab, one-in-ten people (13%) have now used it to make a purchase.

However, cybercriminals are also embracing this trend by targeting cryptocurrency exchanges and modifying old threats to attack investors. This is leaving people at risk of losing their savings stored in this unprotected technology, as hackers develop sophisticated techniques to access funds.

Cryptocurrency now one of the most popular payment methods

There are a growing number of businesses now offering cryptocurrency as a payment method, with retailers and food outlets now accepting it. Prices are falling and major sports teams are even partnering with crypto-exchanges. Yet, as people show interest in using cryptocurrency to both invest and spend their money, their funds are vulnerable to being stolen from cryptocurrency wallets, insecure exchanges and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). There have been high profile incidents where sums of up to $530 million worth of digital tokens have been stolen.

“Despite a fall in cryptocurrency prices, there is still a strong desire for digital transactions amongst consumers,” says Vitaly Mzokov, Head of Verification, Growth Center at Kaspersky Lab.

“Our consumer research has found that 13% of people have used cryptocurrency as a payment method, which was surprising to see. However, there are also real dangers associated with online exchanges as they are still in their infancy. There could be devastating financial consequences for consumers if funds are not secure.

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