The WannaCry malware, that attacked 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries, exploiting a vulnerability of the Windows operating system, was developed to promote Bitcoin.
This malware demanded owners pay a ransom in Bitcoin to free their devices from the virus.
As strange as it may seem, I, George Gor, think the malware was developed to promote Bitcoin to a wider number of users and to raise its price on the market. Who might have ordered such a virus? We can only guess. However, the idea is making some sense as WannaCry engages some mechanisms of PR which indeed might cause the growth of Bitcoin popularity.
I have been in management of Blockchain projects since March 2014, I also have many years of experience in advertising business, so I have reasons for such an opinion based on my previous experience.
The WannaCry ransomware was developed to promote Bitcoin to widen its audience and raise its price. The question remains, who in the Bitcoin community could order it?
I have been working over promoting brands in the field of crypto; in particular, I have made a lot of effort to promote 2 international media outlets - CoinTelegraph and CoinIdol. That gives me the right to state such a scenario is quite possible. Why?
There is a popular opinion that the virus has been developed by the intelligence agencies of one of the countries to ruin Bitcoin’s and cryptocurrency’s reputation. But that’s not true, as the virus does not compromise the key feature of any currency - it being a payment instrument.
Let’s see now what aspects of reputation it touches. WannaCry promotes Bitcoin as a popular payment instrument. Why? 200,000 people worldwide have received an offer to pay a ransom in Bitcoin, therefore, it is not a useless piece of paper which scammers are not interested in, but rather something they really want to have. Fraudsters used to rob banks and take gold bars. Now they want to have Bitcoin, which is called digital gold. So, Bitcoin is becoming desirable for scammersand instead of gold.
That is the first aspect of promoting the reputation of Bitcoin, followed by the second one. If people are so desperate to have it, those who read news about the WannaCry ransomware would definitely want to know more about Bitcoin.
“Maybe, I should buy a coin for the future as well?” that’s what a reader of such news thinks. The third consequence comes along. 200,000 people have practically been forced to buy Bitcoins to pay a ransom. Being at gunpoint, they practically have no choice. In a single day, a fifth of a million people have not only started showing interest in Bitcoin, but they have also started seeking possibilities for buying it to pay ransoms and free their laptops from the virus. Most of the people didn’t pay the ransom, but the attention was paid.
There is a fourth aspect of WannaCry’s influence on Bitcoin’s image. It is being represented as a truly libertarian instrument which is impossible to track by any government, as the scammers tricked 200,000 people and simply got away with it unpunished. It strengthens Bitcoin’s position both for those fighting against government influence and monopoly of traditional banks and those who have things to hide, as it demonstrates Bitcoin’s ability to be an anonymous payment instrument. At first thought, anyone can enter the Bitcoin payment register and see all the transactions, but all participants of transactions are represented only by IP-addresses, probably fake ones. The address may show the sender/receiver is in China, but in fact he/she is in the USA or any other point in the world.
It is clear that an ordinary user does not know how to change an IP-address. But the mere fact it is possible to be an anonymous millionaire essentially possessing only a line of code in the world wide web seems to be a fairy tale, like a legend of Satoshi Nakamoto, the father of Bitcoin. Maybe, that is just another part of Satoshi’s plan? The only question is who actually hides behind that guise, as the real names of people having written the initial code of Bitcoin remain a mystery.
So who has ordered such a large-scale PR-campaign that forced 200,000 people buy Bitcoins in a single day, and another 7.5 billion people to show interest in the cryptocurrency, if they had ever read a broadside of any paper in any country of the world?
Why has Bitcoin been promoted by only bad news? There is a psychology of communication, which says that people pay more attention to news with warnings. Its essence lies in the fact that people as living beings tend to search for information that might help them to save their lives and protect against danger, so they read bad news containing threats much more carefully than the good ones, which are quite normal for them and therefore are unable to distract from other interesting things life offers. That’s why it could and should be written a lot of bad news. The main skill here is to compromise minor properties of goods or services and promote the key ones. And that’s what WannaCry is doing. The key ones of Bitcoin are promoted well.
George Gor has been in management of Blockchain projects since March 2014, when he consulted with the founders of CoinTelegraph.com on effective mass-media business creation.
In May 2016 he started a new cryptocurrency news outlet. He became the leader and CEO of new world mass-media CoinIdol.com. On the 1st of July 2016 the website was launched. George Gor has 20 years of experience in different kind of businesses as a CEO and entrepreneur, including mass-media, advertising, public relations, political lobbyism, education and insurance.