Financial IT: Finger authentication: The answer to cryptocurrency crime

7 November 2018

By David Orme, SVP, IDEX Biometrics

Cryptocurrency, commonly defined as digital assets that use cryptography to secure transactions without the need for a central banking authority, is rising in popularity and being widely adopted across the globe. According to research by the University of Cambridge, 3 million people are estimated to be actively trading in cryptocurrencies today, and many are already using crypto to pay for items such as hotels, games and even their rent. Since the 2009 launch of Bitcoin, the first decentralised cryptocurrency, the adoption of digital currencies has become increasingly popular as consumers look for convenient, accessible and low-cost alternatives to common currency.

Whilst we are seeing a rise in cryptocurrency usage – it is still a relatively new concept, with a concerning lack of knowledge and monitoring surrounding it. Recent studies found that most cryptocurrency investors in the UK put their money on the line without fully understanding it, resulting in only 5% of the UK’s crypto investors managing to turn a profit. More alarmingly than this, there is a distinct lack of regulation in place to protect consumers against potential data hacks and fraudulent behaviour. In fact, according to research by P.A.ID Strategies, 68 percent of 25 prominent digital wallets and cryptocurrency exchanges are currently allowing users to trade with no formal identification. In many instances, trading is able to take place using just an email address or mobile telephone number.

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