The number of reasons to choose a decentralized cryptocurrency over conventional fiat currencies continues to increase. While the majority of people, governments, and even the central banks maintain that cryptocurrencies are risky investments and one can lose money anytime, the recent NSA files shared by a hacker group Shadow Brokers show that fiat currencies aren’t any different.
Shadow Brokers hit the headlines last year after the group gained access to classified files and cyber hacking tools belonging to Equation Group — a hacker group that’s part of the US Intelligence Community. A few days ago, Shadow Brokers decided to release the password for a trove of hacking tools and documents used by the government agency, whose authenticity was verified earlier by many sources including ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
The access to NSA’s cyberweapon arsenal shows that the US government agency has enough tools to compromise the global banking system by hacking into the computers connected to the network. Few financial institutions including Qatar First Investment Bank, Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange and Tadhamon International Islamic Bank feature among the list of compromised entities.
The available information also states that the NSA spyware has infiltrated the SWIFT Network — a widely used “secure” international network for fund transfer itself. The implication of such an occurrence is huge. It means that any international fund transfer can not only be tracked but also manipulated to serve bigger designs.
While there isn’t enough information about the extent of tampering the NSA’s tools can do to the financial network, it keeps one wondering whether NSA can one day just decide to empty accounts belonging to individuals or national banks overnight. The very thought of such a possibility is scary as any such eventuality can bring down the whole global financial system and governments like a pack of cards.
People have so far trusted banking institutions with their money, and now the possibility of some unconnected third party or a government agency stealing the funds reduces the confidence levels in them drastically. The solution for such cases, a much safer alternative has been around for a while now. Bitcoin and other similar cryptocurrencies are completely decentralized, making it almost impossible for hackers, cybercriminals, and even spies to access and steal the funds. Also, the availability of cold storage options including hardware and paper wallets makes safeguarding one’s own earnings a lot easier.
The recent developments also give a reason for the banks and financial institutions to move away from legacy systems and adopt new-age distributed ledger technology to ensure the safety and security of clients’ private information and funds.
The Shadow Brokers may not be done with their game yet as they are expected to release something new and probably more controversial in the coming days.