Bitcoins: How Vulnerable To Theft Are They? Ask TV Anchor Matt Miller

Bitcoin gift certificates may have seemed like the perfect holiday stocking stuffer, but in the case of a Bloomberg TV anchor, a thief traded his gift certificate for a lump of coal. According to RT, last Friday Bloomberg anchor Matt Miller surprised two of his co-anchors with bitcoin gift certificates. Adam Johnson then flashed the certificate on the screen only for about 10 seconds, but that was plenty of time for the thief to scan the QR code on the certificate and swipe the bitcoin for himself (or herself).

Reddit user posts about bitcoin theft

The thief was apparently someone who uses Reddit under the name milywaymasta. He posted a statement explaining that he took the gift certificate because it was easy and “exhilarating” to steal it. He reported that the gift certificate was only worth $20 and said he would send it back after Miller provides him with “a new address since someone else can sweep the old one.”

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Miller responded to the Reddit user, saying that it wasn’t necessary that the bitcoin gift certificate be stolen. He called it “freaking classic but also a GREAT lesson in bitcoin security.”

Bitcoin prices on the rebound

As bitcoins have become more and more popular this year, their value has skyrocketed, popping over $1,000 before retreating a bit in the wake of news from China and Korea. Today on U.S.-based exchange Coinbase, the digital currency was back to trading at more than $700, while on Japanese exchange Mt. Gox, bitcoins neared $800. Bitcoins had dipped as low as $455 in December after China placed new restrictions on the digital currency.

Because of how quickly the value of bitcoins has blown up this year, thieves and hackers have become very interested in the currency, stealing millions of dollars in bitcoins from online digital wallets and other sites. If bitcoins truly are here to stay, security will be an increasing problem, and consumers will need to learn what not to do to expose themselves to theft (like show off the QR code for their bitcoin gift certificate on TV