Risk Review: Internal bad actors in the world of cryptocurrency
The world of cryptocurrency, built upon principles of decentralisation, is often seen as a shining beacon of financial freedom. However, it is not immune to malicious actors who exploit the system from within. Internal bad actors, ranging from exchange employees to developers with ulterior motives, pose a significant threat to the integrity and protection of cryptocurrencies.
The landscape of internal bad actors
One of the most common forms of misconduct in the cryptocurrency space is insider trading. Employees of exchanges or projects with access to privileged information may trade on that information before it becomes public knowledge, profiting at the expense of other traders. This unethical practice erodes trust in the market.
Cryptocurrency projects, particularly Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and decentralised platforms have been marred by exit scams. Founders raise funds from investors and then disappear, leaving token holders with worthless assets. The scams undermine the credibility of the entire industry.
Manipulative pump and dump schemes:
Individuals or groups may artificially inflate the price of a cryptocurrency through misleading information, often on social media, to entice others to invest. Once the price has been pumped, they sell off their holdings, causing the price to crash and leaving other investors with losses.
Developers have a significant influence in shaping the cryptocurrency ecosystem. In some cases, developers may introduce malicious code, bugs, or vulnerabilities into blockchain networks, leading to security breaches, network forks, or other disruptive events.
Some cryptocurrency exchanges have been accused of mismanagement or even embezzlement of customer funds. Whether due to incompetence or malicious intent, these actions can result in significant financial losses for users.
Motivations behind internal bad actors
Understanding the motivations behind internal bad actors is crucial for developing effective strategies to combat their activities:
Many bad actors are driven by the desire for quick financial gains. Whether through insider trading, exit scams, or pump-and-dump schemes, their primary motivation is to profit at the expense of others.
Lack of regulation:
The relatively nascent and unregulated nature of the cryptocurrency space can attract individuals looking to exploit gaps in oversight and accountability.
Revenge or ideology
In some cases, internal bad actors may have ideological or personal motivations, such as seeking revenge against a project or community they feel wronged them.
Contact the Coincover team to find out how you can protect your assets.