Bitcoin tumbles 8% after US nabs US$2.3M crypto ransom from Colonial hackers

By - Supriya Kumari

In yet another cryptocurrency meltdown, Bitcoin prices tanked overnight once again, as officials in the US were able to recover most of the ransom paid to hackers that targeted Colonial Pipeline – the largest pipeline system for refined oil products in the country.

The government was able to recover the sum after the purge aimed to contain the rise in cyber attacks. The reports suggest that the government was able to get access to the passwords of one of the hackers’ bitcoin wallets. It is reported that the enforcement officials were able to recover US$2.3 million of ransom.

This accelerated the decline in the prices of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The world’s largest cryptocurrency crashed 8% and was trading as low as US$31,035.49 overnight, before recovering. As of now, it is trading at US$33,214.53.

The trend was reflected in other cryptocurrencies as well: ethereum fell about 8% to US$2,499.28 and XRP tanked over 7%.

The fortunes of digital currencies have turned around for the worse in just a month. What seemed to be a banner year for cryptocurrencies in April, turned out to a bubble in May. After touching a historic high of over US$64,000-mark in 2021, Bitcoin collapsed by about 50% in next one month and is now around trading around US$30,000-mark. Despite the crash, Bitcoin has not wiped off all the year-to-date gains it made till April 2021. Although truncated severely, it is still giving a year-to-date return of 14.75%.

Cryptocurrencies have been weighed down heavily by the regulatory clampdown in China, and not to mention –the tweets from Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk.