WannaCry Theory Points To Currency Manipulation

Schtask

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WannaCry ransomware delivered on its namesake a few weeks ago after being unleashed into the digital realm. Chaos ensued. Infosec professionals around the globe could be found curled up in the fetal position and dehydrated from crying out their bodily fluids as they lamented the patch policies of their corporate overlords. Or perhaps not. Some companies fared well.

In the weeks that followed, declarations of attribution began to fly from all corners of the media. Some claimed that the attack was carried out by a Nation State like Russia, while others pointed out snippets of code that invoked names like the Lazarus group. There was no shortage of blame going around. There is also no shortage on disagreement as to who conducted this attack and why.

One interesting theory that has emerged comes from Digital Forensics Expert Joseph Carson. To put it simply: Wannacry was used as a tool for currency manipulation and the insider trading of BitCoin.

Carson laid out his thoughts in an interview with Security Week.
"WannaCry, was a sleight of hand, a deception. The ransomware was merely a mechanism to get a large number of people to open a Bitcoin wallet -- and that by itself would drive up the value of Bitcoin."

It sounds a bit far fetched until you look at the numbers. Over the course of the outbreak, Bitcoin currency value nearly doubled.
 
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cdabc123

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I wondered why bitcoins suddenly spiked. it makes perfect sense.

bitcoin has been randomly spiking for the last few months. Intrestingly enough it actually suffered the largest drop in awile (over $800) in the last few weeks. nothing as samll as this malware has the slightest impact on the massive volume of bitcoin.
 

Schtask

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bitcoin has been randomly spiking for the last few months. Intrestingly enough it actually suffered the largest drop in awile (over $800) in the last few weeks. nothing as samll as this malware has the slightest impact on the massive volume of bitcoin.


Yes...Because Bitcoin doubled in value randomly this year. smh

yearbitcoin.jpg
 

heatlesssun

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Not that I believe this but had this hit banks and other financial institutions which in a significant way, and there was some fake news about ATMs in India about it, then sure I could see the correlation.
 

Schtask

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randomly was probrably a incorect word. but it shure as hell wasnt this ransomware that did it

I'm not saying I necessarily disagree with you, but... In the spirit of critical thought, what happened over that two week period that could have caused such a massive spike? What's it attributed to?
 

Nukester

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I'm not saying I necessarily disagree with you, but... In the spirit of critical thought, what happened over that two week period that could have caused such a massive spike? What's it attributed to?

There is no other geopolitical event that could have caused the spike in that time period.
 

Gigus Fire

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this is probably a bad summary of the reasons.
The reason why ransomware makers use bitcoin is that it's a lot harder to impossible to track.
It's kind of the same reason why thieves would rather steal cash than credit cards.

Now that the main reason for using bitcoin is known, why would any other reasons like currency manipulation come into play?
That's like saying bank robber's motivation is to get more security in banks. The correlation is there, but it's a silly statement to make.
 

Schtask

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this is probably a bad summary of the reasons.
The reason why ransomware makers use bitcoin is that it's a lot harder to impossible to track.
It's kind of the same reason why thieves would rather steal cash than credit cards.

Now that the main reason for using bitcoin is known, why would any other reasons like currency manipulation come into play?
That's like saying bank robber's motivation is to get more security in banks. The correlation is there, but it's a silly statement to make.

You are correct. BitCoin provides anonymity to the transaction, which is why it is used for a vast number of criminal activities.

Currency manipulation comes into play considering the following. The value of BitCoin ( or any crypto-currency ) is based on the number of users making that currency valid. BitCoin's big break happened the very day that the Chinese government declared it to be a valid currency in the mainland due to the potential for another few billion people being able to access said currency. If you look at the WannaCry ransomware, there are things that don't make much since from a ransomware perspective. It doesn't fit that model. Wannacry sports insanely efficient and swift propagation methods. The execution there was flawless. But the ransomware component itself... Awful. Bitcoin wallets weren't set up to auto-generate on client hit, the component sometimes wouldn't work at all, 3 master wallets and that's a wrap. It was bad... Which is why many CS guys were confused. On the one hand you had super efficient and well thought out prop... On the other, grade school level coding for what should be the crown jewels for the attack.

However.... If the goal was not to get money for the Ransom... but instead, force infected users (there were A LOT of infected users in a VERY short period of time ) to open bit coin wallets for a potential pay off for their data.... Then it becomes currency manipulation. As new users join the BitCoin service the value goes up. If those amounts are dramatic, then the payoff is huge. WannaCry itself absolutely created an environment where a huge spike in currency holders occurred over a short period of time, increased the value of the currency and tapered off in the weeks following. It could have been unintentional, but the result is the same.

Think about this. All versions and variants of Ransomware use Bitcoin as a payoff method. Last year alone, Ransomware became a billion dollar industry. Now, take a moment and think about how much a billion dollars in Bitcoin was worth at this time last year....and how much it's worth now.
 

Nukester

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You are correct. BitCoin provides anonymity to the transaction, which is why it is used for a vast number of criminal activities.

Currency manipulation comes into play considering the following. The value of BitCoin ( or any crypto-currency ) is based on the number of users making that currency valid. BitCoin's big break happened the very day that the Chinese government declared it to be a valid currency in the mainland due to the potential for another few billion people being able to access said currency. If you look at the WannaCry ransomware, there are things that don't make much since from a ransomware perspective. It doesn't fit that model. Wannacry sports insanely efficient and swift propagation methods. The execution there was flawless. But the ransomware component itself... Awful. Bitcoin wallets weren't set up to auto-generate on client hit, the component sometimes wouldn't work at all, 3 master wallets and that's a wrap. It was bad... Which is why many CS guys were confused. On the one hand you had super efficient and well thought out prop... On the other, grade school level coding for what should be the crown jewels for the attack.

However.... If the goal was not to get money for the Ransom... but instead, force infected users (there were A LOT of infected users) to open bit coin wallets for a potential pay off for their data.... Then it becomes currency manipulation. As new users join the BitCoin service the value goes up. If those amounts are dramatic, then the payoff is huge.

Think about this. All versions and variants of Ransomware use Bitcoin as a payoff method. Last year alone, Ransomware became a billion dollar industry. Now, take a moment and think about how much a billion dollars in Bitcoin was worth at this time last year....and how much it's worth now.

Very well said!
 

celeron300

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I think there is always a continuing battle with the dinosaurs of finance (money printers / central banks) and cryptocurrency to paint bitcoin as a currency of criminals. Lord knows how many USDollars have been used to fuel terrorism / drug trade around the world. But keep putting in the news the idea that Bitcoin bad / volatility of price worse so they can keep everyone penned in the current system until it collapses...
 

Nukester

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I think there is always a continuing battle with the dinosaurs of finance (money printers / central banks) and cryptocurrency to paint bitcoin as a currency of criminals. Lord knows how many USDollars have been used to fuel terrorism / drug trade around the world. But keep putting in the news the idea that Bitcoin bad / volatility of price worse so they can keep everyone penned in the current system until it collapses...

US Dollars are traceable, Bitcoin are not. Enough said.
 

Schtask

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I think there is always a continuing battle with the dinosaurs of finance (money printers / central banks) and cryptocurrency to paint bitcoin as a currency of criminals. Lord knows how many USDollars have been used to fuel terrorism / drug trade around the world. But keep putting in the news the idea that Bitcoin bad / volatility of price worse so they can keep everyone penned in the current system until it collapses...

The fact though, is that BitCoin is pretty much the ONLY accepted currency for criminal activities available on the Dark Web. It is the ONLY accepted method of payment for Ransomware. Those are criminal activities that are exclusively funded by BitCoin. It is anonymous, and that's great for the law abiding user. It's a double edged sword though. The criminal element loves the privacy as much as the non-criminal element.
 

celeron300

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The fact though, is that BitCoin is pretty much the ONLY accepted currency for criminal activities available on the Dark Web. It is the ONLY accepted method of payment for Ransomware. Those are criminal activities that are exclusively funded by BitCoin. It is anonymous, and that's great for the law abiding user. It's a double edged sword though. The criminal element loves the privacy as much as the non-criminal element.

Thats a load of crap. The fact is only in your mind dude what proof do you have of that? Stop trolling. The future isn't depending on a 3rd party ( corrupt banking system) for your needs.
 

Gigus Fire

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You are correct. BitCoin provides anonymity to the transaction, which is why it is used for a vast number of criminal activities.

Currency manipulation comes into play considering the following. The value of BitCoin ( or any crypto-currency ) is based on the number of users making that currency valid. BitCoin's big break happened the very day that the Chinese government declared it to be a valid currency in the mainland due to the potential for another few billion people being able to access said currency. If you look at the WannaCry ransomware, there are things that don't make much since from a ransomware perspective. It doesn't fit that model. Wannacry sports insanely efficient and swift propagation methods. The execution there was flawless. But the ransomware component itself... Awful. Bitcoin wallets weren't set up to auto-generate on client hit, the component sometimes wouldn't work at all, 3 master wallets and that's a wrap. It was bad... Which is why many CS guys were confused. On the one hand you had super efficient and well thought out prop... On the other, grade school level coding for what should be the crown jewels for the attack.

However.... If the goal was not to get money for the Ransom... but instead, force infected users (there were A LOT of infected users in a VERY short period of time ) to open bit coin wallets for a potential pay off for their data.... Then it becomes currency manipulation. As new users join the BitCoin service the value goes up. If those amounts are dramatic, then the payoff is huge. WannaCry itself absolutely created an environment where a huge spike in currency holders occurred over a short period of time, increased the value of the currency and tapered off in the weeks following. It could have been unintentional, but the result is the same.

Think about this. All versions and variants of Ransomware use Bitcoin as a payoff method. Last year alone, Ransomware became a billion dollar industry. Now, take a moment and think about how much a billion dollars in Bitcoin was worth at this time last year....and how much it's worth now.
Why wouldn't the spike in the price be directly related to the announcement the Chinese government made? It adds a bit of legitimacy that was lacking before.
You're correct in that mostly all ransomware asks for money through bitcoin. The currency has increased in value since last year at a steady pace which doesn't seem to correlate to wannacry.

Just take a look at the spike that happened back in 2013. It has a very similar pattern to the price spike that just happened. http://business.time.com/2013/11/07/3-reasons-why-the-price-of-bitcoin-is-surging/
 

ruffbytes

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The fact though, is that BitCoin is pretty much the ONLY accepted currency for criminal activities available on the Dark Web. It is the ONLY accepted method of payment for Ransomware. Those are criminal activities that are exclusively funded by BitCoin. It is anonymous, and that's great for the law abiding user. It's a double edged sword though. The criminal element loves the privacy as much as the non-criminal element.

I too have noticed a spike in bitcoin when there is a large outbreak of the ransomwares. I have also noticed a steep drop when a dark market gets raided. I am not saying those are the direct cause, but I am pretty sure that there is something to it.

I have joked in the past with my wife that I should buy bitcoin and then write a ransomware virus. Even if not many victims pay, there is money to be made!

Thats a load of crap. The fact is only in your mind dude what proof do you have of that? Stop trolling. The future isn't depending on a 3rd party ( corrupt banking system) for your needs.

celeron300, I don't think Crixus is shitting on your anarchy. The point being made is that bitcoin is used (quite a lot) as a financial instrument in crime. I don't think this is a bad thing at all. People like things that work well and the criminal use will get more people involved in making bitcoin transactions even better. Your wish of reducing the bank's/govt's power may well happen BECAUSE of the use in crime.

I think if bitcoin wasn't used in crime, it would still be worth about $1 USD.
 

nvgrim

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They didnt even get that many BTC as ransom,like 30-40? There is no way that spiked the price.
 

nysmo

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Bitcoin has quintupled in a year. Wow. I'm thinking there's going to be a sell off soon.
but that would imply that the forces of supply and demand are at work. Clearly this is total nonsense and the only plausible explanation for BTC activity is some outside force, so if a sell off happens, dont assume it's due to panicked sellers but rather some conspiracy working against BTC.
 

nysmo

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I'm not saying I necessarily disagree with you, but... In the spirit of critical thought, what happened over that two week period that could have caused such a massive spike? What's it attributed to?
Pretend you're sitting at your computer watching the BTC index and you have $10,000 burning a hole in your wallet. What do you do?
 

celeron300

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celeron300, I don't think Crixus is shitting on your anarchy. The point being made is that bitcoin is used (quite a lot) as a financial instrument in crime. I don't think this is a bad thing at all. People like things that work well and the criminal use will get more people involved in making bitcoin transactions even better. Your wish of reducing the bank's/govt's power may well happen BECAUSE of the use in crime.

I think if bitcoin wasn't used in crime, it would still be worth about $1 USD.

The point being missed is the multi billion - if not trillions of $ being used for illicit activities for decades. Thats all. Thank you. Rant off. :)
 

nysmo

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US Dollars are traceable, Bitcoin are not. Enough said
Actually BTC is 100% traceable, more so than USD. The only difference is as long as you hid your identity when you opened your wallet and nobody can tie you to your last transaction you are invisible. But each and every transaction of BTC has been tagged from one address to the next. That is how the system works as a P2P model to avoid corruption.
 

Zion Halcyon

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The main issue here is Bitcoin is out of control of the central banks that run everything through their own currency manipulation. Bitcoin threatens the way they do things in a major way.

So even with bitcoin taking off, I am sure they want to try to devalue it as much as possible, at least until they can find out a way to control it (which may not happen).

Therefore, while I want to be skeptical of bitcoin, everything said in a negative light about it I have to take with a grain of salt as it may have just been because of a seed planted by the banking establishment that gained traction for one reason or another.
 

nysmo

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Therefore, while I want to be skeptical of bitcoin, everything said in a negative light about it I have to take with a grain of salt as it may have just been because of a seed planted by the banking establishment that gained traction for one reason or another.
As long as you have people on a tech forum talking against things like Net Neutrality there will always be other idiots regurgitating whatever nonsense they have been conditioned to believe.
 

Spidey329

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They didnt even get that many BTC as ransom,like 30-40? There is no way that spiked the price.

The ransom was only around $300. So that'd be around 200 new users to Bitcoin (depending price at time).

But that's not what would have driven the price hike. The fact Bitcoin was again in the media would have caused speculation traders to jump in to the market.

Bitcoin seems to flounder for a bit until something happens that puts it at the forefront of the news (directly or indirectly), in-which case tons of capital jumps in to ride the wave. Hence the $800 correction last week.
 

Schtask

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There seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding of the basics going on here.

Thats a load of crap. The fact is only in your mind dude what proof do you have of that? Stop trolling. The future isn't depending on a 3rd party ( corrupt banking system) for your needs.

Celeron, you are completely missing the point. I'm not stating anything incorrect about your precious BitCoin. What I am stating is 100% fact. BitCoin is the go to currency for internet based criminal activity. Logic applies. What would be the point of the dark web if someone had to make the effort to get to a criminal domain through a Tor node then had to buy their desired contraband with a credit card? http://www.coindesk.com/bitcoin-on-the-dark-web-the-facts/


Actually BTC is 100% traceable, more so than USD. The only difference is as long as you hid your identity when you opened your wallet and nobody can tie you to your last transaction you are invisible. But each and every transaction of BTC has been tagged from one address to the next. That is how the system works as a P2P model to avoid corruption.

Nysmo, so what you're saying is that BitCoin is more traceable than a Credit Card as long as a user uses BitCoin without taking advantage of the anonymity of BitCoin? The mind boggles. Take it from a guy that gets paid to be intimately familiar with the "Dark / Deep Web"... BitCoin isn't THAT traceable. Absolutely not as traceable as a Visa card transaction.

The point being missed is the multi billion - if not trillions of $ being used for illicit activities for decades. Thats all. Thank you. Rant off. :)

Yes. Ok.. I get it now. You're all about anti-government / ant-banking blah blah blah. Digital Crypto Currency will destabilize the traditional banking systems and fix Earth. Understood.

Pretend you're sitting at your computer watching the BTC index and you have $10,000 burning a hole in your wallet. What do you do?

Absolutely possible. Crazy how thousands of people had the exact same thought at the exact same time. It was almost as if something ( ransomware ) persuaded them to do it. Strange. Must be some cyber telepathy going on there. Again, not saying I disagree with you necessarily. That's a hell of a coincidence though. Oh...Since when did buying currency when it's at its highest value become an attractive way to make money? Silly me. I thought you bought low and sold high. Crazy.

but that would imply that the forces of supply and demand are at work. Clearly this is total nonsense and the only plausible explanation for BTC activity is some outside force, so if a sell off happens, dont assume it's due to panicked sellers but rather some conspiracy working against BTC.

I wouldn't call it a conspiracy. I'd call it your standard run of the mill pump and dump scheme. Happens all the time.

Why wouldn't the spike in the price be directly related to the announcement the Chinese government made? It adds a bit of legitimacy that was lacking before.
You're correct in that mostly all ransomware asks for money through bitcoin. The currency has increased in value since last year at a steady pace which doesn't seem to correlate to wannacry.
Just take a look at the spike that happened back in 2013. It has a very similar pattern to the price spike that just happened. http://business.time.com/2013/11/07/3-reasons-why-the-price-of-bitcoin-is-surging/

Did it ever double in value over the course of a week with no announcements being made that would cause that to occur? I'm curious. Also, the Chinese announcement happened years ago....and it did spike. Big time.
 
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Schtask

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The main issue here is Bitcoin is out of control of the central banks that run everything through their own currency manipulation. Bitcoin threatens the way they do things in a major way.

So even with bitcoin taking off, I am sure they want to try to devalue it as much as possible, at least until they can find out a way to control it (which may not happen).

Therefore, while I want to be skeptical of bitcoin, everything said in a negative light about it I have to take with a grain of salt as it may have just been because of a seed planted by the banking establishment that gained traction for one reason or another.

If you mined BitCoin way back when, and held on to it...You would be a rich man. It may be the future of currency. It may not. It's more valuable than gold and doesn't exist. How crazy is that?
 

nvgrim

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Did it ever double in value over the course of a week with no announcements being made that would cause that to occur? I'm curious. Also, the Chinese announcement happened years ago....and it did spike. Big time.
The end of 2013 it did, thats when it hit $1200 then there was a sell off that happened over months since so many people made money. Then it settled down for almost a year and then slowly gained traction again. Just look at the all time chart for usd/btc doesn't look very pump and dump to me. https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/bitcoin/#charts
Also the measly 30-40 btc they made from the wannacry did absolutely nothing to the market and just because it created new users doesnt mean anything. Its a global economy that is open 24/7 unlike the NYSE or ForEx and is always on the move, the price climbing so high is kinda of a snowball effect, so many people see the price rise so fast and want to buy as much before it drops to make a profit and then when it starts to drop a ton there will be initially a massive sell off as people collect their profits and it will find its new average which is about $2000-$2100 right now. If this was a pump and dump then its been a year long one then because the price has been going up substantially since late May of last year.
 

Zion Halcyon

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As long as you have people on a tech forum talking against things like Net Neutrality there will always be other idiots regurgitating whatever nonsense they have been conditioned to believe.

I always am leery of anyone who makes it black and white without understanding the whole ball of wax.

Do you know the current "net neutrality" we enjoy that they are talking about repealing has a ton of catches, a ton of tendrils snaking into things that do not involve net neutrality, and essentially, use "net neutrality" as a means to slide other things by without having it go through the normal government channels?

The reason for the current talk of its removal have surprisingly very little to do with Net Neutrality itself, but with all these "add ins" that have nothing to do with it, and sadly, its too much of a tangled mess that they have to throw the baby out with the bath water.

If we want net neutrality (and we should), we also should support doing it RIGHT - without catches, without hooks into other things that do not involve net neutrality - just pure net neutrality with no conditions and nothing attached that doesn't directly pertain to net neutrality.
 

Zion Halcyon

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If you mined BitCoin way back when, and held on to it...You would be a rich man. It may be the future of currency. It may not. It's more valuable than gold and doesn't exist. How crazy is that?

I know all the central banks are trying like hell to prevent this from happening...
 

nysmo

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If you mined BitCoin way back when, and held on to it...You would be a rich man. It may be the future of currency. It may not. It's more valuable than gold and doesn't exist. How crazy is that?
I think it's crazy gold has any value at all, it's a rock that is useless in every way.

BitCoin isn't THAT traceable. Absolutely not as traceable as a Visa card transaction.
Well if you send BTC to John, and then John sends BTC to me, I can see that exact history in the blockchain. It doesnt prove that they werent 2 mutually exclusive transactions, but in the eyes of the FBI or court of law I'm sure tracing a $20,000 for a hitman for example would be easily enough to tie together even if the values differed a little. Nobody would argue otherwise. A credit card might be more traceable in its current form but only because each transaction is stamped with your personal ID. Problem is those transactions lay behind a central authority who can be corrupted. An insider for example could delete the record of the transaction to conceal it ever happened. You cant do this with BTC. Nobody can mask the fact a transaction occurred.

Absolutely possible. Crazy how thousands of people had the exact same thought at the exact same time. It was almost as if something ( ransomware ) persuaded them to do it. Strange. Must be some cyber telepathy going on there. Again, not saying I disagree with you necessarily. That's a hell of a coincidence though. Oh...Since when did buying currency when it's at its highest value become an attractive way to make money? Silly me. I thought you bought low and sold high. Crazy.
Well of course they had the same thought at the same time. When you see the value of something increasing most people tend to derive the same conclusion, buy buy buy. And nobody who bought BTC 2 weeks ago bought it when it was high, they clearly bought it when it was low since it appreciated 50% in that time frame. Thats called investing. I'm sure someone who bought Google stock in the 90's was mocked for buying high at $1/share. Regarding whatever coincidence you see in randomsware and the value of BTC, I'm sure it rained in Nebraska a few times that week too, I jerked off thrice, and some guys dog barked. Amazing all those things happened and then BTC skyrocketed.

I wouldn't call it a conspiracy. I'd call it your standard run of the mill pump and dump scheme. Happens all the time.
Thats not what pump and dump is at all. People who bought BTC saw a return on their investment. Pump and dump is the attempt to mislead investors so that insiders gain in value and the investors get screwed. Nobody who bought BTC in the last month got screwed unless it crashes tomorrow or if they bought coins for $2700 last night. Even then I wouldnt call it getting screwed, BTC has always been volatile like this to the point these surges are normal and could easily return back to their highs and then some.
 

lcpiper

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I'm not saying I necessarily disagree with you, but... In the spirit of critical thought, what happened over that two week period that could have caused such a massive spike? What's it attributed to?

I see a possible case for causation, in that it is possible that wannacry is responsible for the spike or that it had an influence on the spike. As blade52x just said, it was already on the rise.

I do not see enough evidence to support this theory that currency manipulation was the primary goal for releasing wannacry.
 
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