Last week was blockchain week in New York, and on Wednesday I was at the Consensus conference to moderate a couple of panels, one of which was titled “Policing the Blockchain: Protecting Investors and Consumers.”
It was an exciting discussion for me, because one of the panelists, Michael Terpin, had been the victim of a SIM-swapping, or phone-number porting attack, in which thieves took control of his phone and email accounts and used their access to pillage some $24 million of Terpin’s cryptocurrency. I’d written a magazine feature for Fortune on the trend back in 2017, and it is now so common that several investors were hacked while attending last year’s Consensus conference; when I polled the audience at my panel, at least two people in the crowd admitted to having experienced a similar attack.
When I covered the issue almost two years ago, catching the culprits seemed rather hopeless, given the scant attention these cases were getting from law enforcement. But in…