How to recover stolen cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency is usually, considered to be pretty secure, however, sometimes things do happen. Both regular and top traders have had crypto assets lost or stolen before, until recently it seemed like there were very little one could do about it.
Let discuss the two major forms of wallet in the crypto world, since wallets are essentials for the storage of cryptocurrencies:
- Cold wallet
- Hot wallet
Cold wallet stores the user’s address and private key ( we will discuss more about private key later) on an offline device. It is also called “offline wallet” and “hardware wallet”. With a cold wallet, the private key is stored on a platform that is not connected to the internet, thereby, protecting the wallet from cyber-attacks, unauthorized access and other forms of vulnerability associated with the internet.
The most basic form of cold wallet is Paper Wallet. A paper wallet is simply a document that has the public and private keys written on it.
Another form of cold storage is a hardware wallet that uses an offline device or smartcard to generate private keys offline. An example of this is the Ledger USB Wallet, which uses Smartcard to secure a Private Key.
Another form of Cold Storage is an Offline Software Wallet which is quite similar to a Hardware wallet but a little bit complicated. An offline software wallet splits a wallet into two accessible platforms – an offline wallet that contains the private keys and an online wallet that has the public keys stored
The difference between Hot and Cold wallets is that hot wallets are connected to the internet while cold wallets are not.
When you make use of a Hot wallet, the private keys will be saved forever on cloud storage which is always connected to the internet. There is always a danger of your wallet getting compromised if hackers manage to get a grip of your private keys. If your private key is stolen, it is guaranteed that your coins will also be stolen from your wallet.
The biggest advantage of keeping cryptocurrency in a hot wallet is that it can be used to help facilitate basic transactions. Individuals looking to make purchases with their cryptocurrency assets might choose to use a hot wallet because the holdings in that wallet will be transferable across the internet.
Let explain a little bit how cryptocurrency works.
To store a cryptocurrency, you will need
- A Public Key
- A Private Key
A public key enables you to receive cryptocurrency transactions. It’s a cryptographic code that is connected with a private key. While anyone can send transactions to the public key, you need the private key to “unlock” them and prove that you are the owner of the cryptocurrency received in the transaction. The public key that can receive transactions is usually an address, which is simply a shortened form of your public key.
Therefore, you can freely share your Public Key to receive funds.
Here is one important piece of advice, never share your Private Key with anyone. A Private Key gives you the ability to make a transaction with your Cryptocurrency and can also serve as proof of ownership. A private Key can take any form including;
- 64 digit hexadecimal code
- QR code
- 256 long binary code
- Mnemonic phrase
Regardless of the form, a private key is always long and it is like that for a reason. You can use your private key to generate your public key but not vice-versa. More than one public key can be connected to a Private key also.
When an individual decides to send cryptocurrency to you over the blockchain, they are sending those coins to a hashed version known as a Public Key. Another key, known as a Private Key is hidden from everyone on the blockchain and only known to the user. The private key can be used to obtain the public key.
How are Cryptocurrencies Stolen?
The private key is used to create a signature for each transaction concerning the transfer of cryptocurrency. This implies that a user endorses the transaction for the cryptocurrency that they want to send to another person on the blockchain, using a private key. If someone obtains your private keys, they would be able to transfer your cryptocurrencies to themselves, therefore stealing the coins from your wallet.
We will be looking at the different ways to recover your lost crypto assets and how to avoid this type of shenanigan from the onset. Apart from been hacked, there are other ways you can lose your cryptocurrency. Which include
- Fake cryptocurrency investment
- Giveaway scams
- Phney jobs offer
- ICO fraud
- Fake crypto wallet
- Bitcoin stealing-malware
In addition to the scam listed here more are likely to spring up, because as interest in crypto grows, malicious ideas to scam people grow with it. The fraudster may even adopt blackmail, telling you they have a secret picture or video of you and tell you to pay them with BTC or other types of cryptocurrencies. Generally, any kind of transaction that you are been forced to make payment in BTC is probably a scam.
To protect yourself, double down on protecting your crypto wallet using a secure password and virus protection just like you will do with other financial accounts. You can also keep multiple copies of the private keys in a place where you can easily access them but thieves can’t.
Paraventure, you lost your cryptocurrency either by sending it to the wrong person account or been scammed by an organisation, here are steps you can take in the process of recovering your cryptocurrency:
- Contact the platform that scammed you: You will have to reach the trading platform that defraud you and steal your cryptocurrency. Let it be known to them that, failure to refund you will lead to you reporting them to the appropriate authority. This doesn’t necessarily assure that they will give you your money back, but it is a step in the right direction. Because your action could pay off if followed by action.
- Inform Your Wallet Exchange/Provider: Reach out to your crypto wallet provider and notify them of the scam. They may be able to retain some information about the transaction that could come in useful in an investigation. This will raise awareness and ultimately expose any scams connected with the crypto wallet which may also help deter others from being scammed.
- Report to the Appropriate Financial Authorities: You can contact the appropriate authority about your stolen cryptocurrency. Although most local authorities probably can’t do anything about your stolen crypto because of technical know-how, by informing them you help create awareness about the ongoing sham. So, when reporting to authority try to give the most amount of information you can, by doing this the authority will be able to create a proper case which in turn create awareness for the crypto-world at large.
- Contact a hacker: You can hire a hacker to help you get back your stolen cryptocurrency. The hack will help you monitor the blockchain to track your stolen cryptocurrency. You can hire our recommended hackers to help you get back your lost or stolen cryptocurrency. We do recommend you go to thehackerspro.com to hire a hacker to help you retrieve your cryptocurrencies.