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What's Next for Cryptocurrency After Thieves Rip Off $400M of It?

By William Vogeler, Esq. on January 30, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Bitcoin -- the bellwether for the meteoric rise in the value of cryptocurrency -- was supposed to be the gold of the 21st century gold rush.

It's still worth about $11,000 a coin, but down about 7 percent from last week. Could the theft of $400 million in cryptocurrency from another exchange have anything to do with it?

Yes or no, wasn't the value of cryptocurrency built on the idea that it was secure? While tech figures it out, law firms are still accepting virtual money in lieu of the real thing.

Real Virtual Heist's

Coincheck, a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, shut down trading after a reported theft of about $400 million in its blockchain-based cryptocurrency. The shutdown started with the virtual currency, then spread to all currencies.

"This is the biggest theft in the history of the world," reported Ars Technica.

The tech publication was passing along information from another news source, which said it was not the technology's fault. It was the exchange that was "very relaxed with their security measures."

It was not the first time hackers reportedly stole cryptocurrency, however. A week earlier, about $4 million worth of another currency disappeared from investors' virtual wallets.

Virtual Lawyer Fees

Despite uncertainties about the currency, large law firms are taking Bitcoin payments for their legal services. According to Bloomberg, it "signals the digital currency's firmer foothold in corporate America."

Technology and startup companies have used Bitcoin to pay other bills, and law firms say they are adapting to the economic culture.

"Law firms are ultimately going to follow the demands of their clients," said Alan Cohn of Steptoe & Johnson LLP.

With Bitcoin nearly tripling in value in the past four months, it is a calculated risk that law firms and others have seemed ready to take. Before the $400 million heist, anyway.

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