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Ontario Securities Commission survey says Canadians are using crypto to pay ransom

A different report suggests that ransomware gangs extorted roughly $1.35 billion in cryptocurrency from victims in 2023

An Ontario Securities Commission report has looked into Canadian cryptocurrency investors, and their behaviours to answer questions like how common is engagement with crypto assets in Canada? What do people know about crypto assets? Where do people get information about crypto assets? and more.

However, the report also indicated a shocking reason why some Canadians are buying crypto — to pay ransom.

25 percent of the surveyed individuals suggested that converting their crypto to fiat currency was the main way they used crypto in 2023, followed by exchanging them for other crypto assets, earning through crypto lending, or using them for payments. Further, a whopping seven percent of Canadian cryptocurrency owners also used their digital assets to pay off ransom demands to cyber hackers in 2023.

In such cases, it could be that the victim used their already-owned crypto assets to pay off the ransom, or the fraudsters could have specifically asked the victim to buy crypto to pay off the ransom. A different report from Chainalysis suggests that ransomware gangs extorted more than $1 billion (roughly $1.35 billion CAD) in cryptocurrency from victims in 2023.

Other findings from the Ontario Securities Commission’s report indicate that four cryptocurrency exchanges have the majority market share in Canada. In order, these are, Coinbase, WealthSimple, Binance and Crypto.com.

You can check out the complete report here. Data about Canadians using cryptocurrency to pay off ransom can be found on page 45.

Image credit: Shutterstock

Source: Ontario Securities Commission

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