July 24, 2024
$19 Billion Lost to Crypto Hacks in 13 Years
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$19 Billion Lost to Crypto Hacks in 13 Years

Over the past 13 years, the crypto industry has faced 785 reported crypto hacks and exploits, leading to the theft of nearly $19 billion worth of digital assets since June 19, 2011, as noted in a Crystal Intelligence report. The first known crypto hack on this date marked the start of a prolonged history of cyberattacks in the sector.

Crypto amounts stolen via hacks and scams in 2023/24. Source: Crystal intelligence

The most significant single theft occurred in 2019 with the Plus Token fraud, where attackers stole $2.9 billion worth of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). In recent years, the largest heist was a $290 million security breach on PlayDapp in February 2024. Additionally, the JPEX investment scam in Hong Kong became the largest single crypto fraud scheme in the same period, with $194.3 million stolen.

Rising Incidents and Financial Impact

Crypto hacks and exploits continue to be a major obstacle to mainstream trust and adoption. The year 2024 might surpass 2023 in terms of crypto theft, as the first quarter of 2024 alone saw $542.7 million stolen, marking a 42% increase compared to the same period in 2023. While 2023 had the highest number of reported crypto-related hacks, 2022 is still considered the “deadliest year by value” according to Crystal Intelligence.

Crypto hacks & scams per year by USD value. Source: Crystal intelligence

In 2022, 286 exploits led to over $2.3 billion worth of digital assets being stolen. The total value of stolen digital assets in 2022 reached $4.2 billion, almost double the amount in 2023, despite having fewer incidents. In 2023, there were 199 hacks reported, a 30% decrease from the 286 hacks in 2022. Nonetheless, 2023 saw 68 separate security breaches that resulted in over $1 billion worth of digital assets being stolen.

DeFi Hacks and Trends

Decentralized finance (DeFi) hacks also contribute significantly to the overall theft in the crypto industry. In 2023, DeFi hacks accounted for $835 million worth of stolen cryptocurrency. However, there were over 112 DeFi hacks reported, indicating that while these incidents might be smaller in scale, they occur more frequently compared to larger security breaches.

One of the most significant DeFi hacks in the past two years was the Euler Finance hack, which resulted in $197 million worth of Ether tokens being stolen. The 10 largest DeFi hacks in 2023 and 2024 combined accounted for nearly $579 million in stolen assets.

Top 10 DeFi hacks 2023/24. Source: Crystal Intelligence

“Even with improved and enhanced monitoring and reporting mechanisms, illegal activity on the blockchain has continued to grow in 2023 and 2024,” the Crystal Intelligence report states. Despite advancements in security measures, the persistence and growth of illegal activities underscore the ongoing challenges faced by the crypto industry in ensuring the safety and trustworthiness of digital assets.

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Disclosure Statement: Miami Crypto does not take any external funding, or support to bring crypto news to the readers. We do not have any conflicts of interest while writing news stories on Miami Crypto.

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