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Author Topic: Bitcoin Theft vs. Fiat Theft Levels?  (Read 1455 times)
ebliever
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March 18, 2015, 03:06:34 AM
 #1

I've been wondering for a while, but don't know where to start.... does anyone know of a way to compare quantitatively the levels of theft of bitcoins vs. the levels of theft of various fiat currencies? This is not a simply answered question, so it might be best addressed by some bright young grad student or researcher out there, but even some rough estimates might be helpful. For starters does anyone know of some statistics for the level of theft of fiat currencies (% of total market cap per year, for example)?

Sometimes I wonder if the tendency of crypto media to report and aggressively highlight stories of seemingly every BTC theft worldwide, even fairly minor ones, might be skewing everyone's perceptions. It would be ironic if crypto media sites were actually overdoing it and causing harm to their raison d'etre. (Though I do appreciate this news and wouldn't want it buried for the sake of those impacted, I just wonder if sometimes it is pushed too high in the news cycle. We don't hear of every $50,000 fiat theft in the U.S. in mainstream media, for example.)

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Ron~Popeil
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March 18, 2015, 05:13:19 AM
 #2

I've been wondering for a while, but don't know where to start.... does anyone know of a way to compare quantitatively the levels of theft of bitcoins vs. the levels of theft of various fiat currencies? This is not a simply answered question, so it might be best addressed by some bright young grad student or researcher out there, but even some rough estimates might be helpful. For starters does anyone know of some statistics for the level of theft of fiat currencies (% of total market cap per year, for example)?

Sometimes I wonder if the tendency of crypto media to report and aggressively highlight stories of seemingly every BTC theft worldwide, even fairly minor ones, might be skewing everyone's perceptions. It would be ironic if crypto media sites were actually overdoing it and causing harm to their raison d'etre. (Though I do appreciate this news and wouldn't want it buried for the sake of those impacted, I just wonder if sometimes it is pushed too high in the news cycle. We don't hear of every $50,000 fiat theft in the U.S. in mainstream media, for example.)

I think you would have to narrow your parameters a bit to start. Say bitcoin theft versus debit account fraud or merchant services data breaches. There is so much fiat money stolen and lost every day it would be tough to quantify with any accuracy.

I do agree with you 100% about the media sensationalizing every bit coin theft.

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March 18, 2015, 06:29:41 AM
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If your bitcoin was stolen, you can't  blame anyone, it is all your responsibility to keep your money safe.
But if your Fiat was stolen, you may blame the bank.
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March 18, 2015, 06:51:56 AM
 #4

There are sooo many factors to take into consideration for this, to make the outcome a valid conclusion or argument.

1.   Bitcoin is a relative new technology/currency compared to fiat
2.   Fiat is not disruptive, so it has fewer enemies targeting it for failure.
3.   Bitcoin is used by a lot less people.
4.   Reported hacks/theft can be manipulated / hyped by people and the Press.
5.   What is the scope or definition of theft
6.   Fiat theft has become so common; it is not even being reported.

We just have to accept that ANY currency will be a target for theft ..... Humans are greedy by nature.  Sad Sad

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inBitweTrust
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March 18, 2015, 07:35:17 AM
 #5

You aren't going to get exact numbers because there are many variables.
Fiat theft is institutionalized and guaranteed to happen 100% these days. Bitcoin is different because it has voluntary and a well understood disinflationary curve that we all agree to beforehand. Theft may increase to levels as high as fiat with bitcoin if we ever decide to increase the 21 million limit but doing so would be our own undoing and very unlikely to occur.

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March 18, 2015, 07:47:43 AM
 #6

I think it is impossible to calculate out the exact figure of the theft levels. But we should keep in mind that stealing is human nature, which can be bitcoin, fiat, or whatever at least has some values. It is not the fault of the bitcoin itself.

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March 18, 2015, 07:56:03 AM
 #7

There is no way to know about it really and we may never know and probably won't know actual numbers of stolen coins. It is strange  to compare bitcoin  with fiat. There a too much of a difference there. Are we talking about only Dollars here? Or every fiat as general? It does not matter tho as we simply can't check this thing out.


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March 18, 2015, 10:11:51 AM
 #8

You aren't going to get exact numbers because there are many variables.
Fiat theft is institutionalized and guaranteed to happen 100% these days. Bitcoin is different because it has voluntary and a well understood disinflationary curve that we all agree to beforehand. Theft may increase to levels as high as fiat with bitcoin if we ever decide to increase the 21 million limit but doing so would be our own undoing and very unlikely to occur.

Yep. Not to mention the bitcoin price fluctuations. A bitcoin theft valued at a million dollars in late 2013 would be less than half that now. What I do know is bitcoin thefts are relatively small fry compared to fiat thefts. Same goes for the comparisons of the percentage of bitcoin spent to buy drugs as opposed to fiat drug purchases. Bitcoin's use is still tiny in comparison.
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March 18, 2015, 11:38:58 AM
 #9

It's impossible to compare because of lack of data.
Sometimes, we hear that some hackers have stolen money but the banks do not publish any detail.

Then, when it comes to the theft of banknotes, no one has worldwide statistics.
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March 18, 2015, 12:16:10 PM
 #10

Well for me to get a rough figure, I would take the crash that happened in around 2007 to 2009 where a few of the banks just suddenly go bankrupt. For me, I will call that a theft as well because of those poor souls who put their hard-earned cash inside the banks and the funds just disappear with it.

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March 18, 2015, 12:18:00 PM
 #11

Bitcoin thefts have a way more weight of impact on its price than fiat thefts.

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March 18, 2015, 12:20:20 PM
 #12

If your bitcoin was stolen, you can't  blame anyone, it is all your responsibility to keep your money safe.
But if your Fiat was stolen, you may blame the bank.
Actually this is stupid statement...you may get fiat stolen in paper form or in form of credit card also...or you can get your whole wallet stolen with both and credit cards.

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ebliever
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March 18, 2015, 12:31:43 PM
 #13

Well, at least everyone agrees with me that it would be hard to measure.  Roll Eyes

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March 18, 2015, 01:54:09 PM
 #14

One difference : Bitcoin theft can be an internal strategy if a firm is running out of business like the gox but fiat theft  cant be that shady bcoz their law enforcements to track the case.

[Edit] So that brings about the need for money tracking agency like the Homeland security for bitcoins?
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March 18, 2015, 02:33:22 PM
 #15

Bitcoin thefts are this high because it is so dead easy to steal Bitcoins. You can literally exploit security breaches or holes in the software to steal the coins. Also you can fool people into sending you their coins -> in an irreversible manner, which makes things even worse!

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March 18, 2015, 03:03:39 PM
 #16

Bitcoin thefts are this high because it is so dead easy to steal Bitcoins. You can literally exploit security breaches or holes in the software to steal the coins. Also you can fool people into sending you their coins -> in an irreversible manner, which makes things even worse!

People can steal fiat electronically in similar or analogous ways.

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March 19, 2015, 09:33:08 AM
 #17

Bitcoin thefts are this high because it is so dead easy to steal Bitcoins. You can literally exploit security breaches or holes in the software to steal the coins. Also you can fool people into sending you their coins -> in an irreversible manner, which makes things even worse!

People can steal fiat electronically in similar or analogous ways.
And don't forget that they can also steal it physicaly like in form of wallet or directly at your bank by changing the control panel into one modified with keylogger, belive me i've seen this.

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March 19, 2015, 03:49:55 PM
 #18

Most of the bitcoins are honest, while all of the dollars are theft

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March 19, 2015, 03:51:17 PM
 #19

If your bitcoin was stolen, you can't  blame anyone, it is all your responsibility to keep your money safe.
But if your Fiat was stolen, you may blame the bank.
In the future we'll have professional solutions if one is scared to keep their own Bitcoin, like Xapo which seems legit. If they lose your bitcoin it's their fault.
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March 19, 2015, 04:06:27 PM
 #20

moral of the story..

results show that after centuries of bank notes existence 600,000 incidences of pickpocketing still occurs every year in just the UK
http://www.clevertravelcompanion.com/blogs/news/8681561-some-pickpocketing-stats-and-facts

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