Crypto criminals steal over $10bn to date, despite crypto crime slowing down

Ex-Amazon cybersecurity professional accused of stealing $9 mn in crypto. — IANS

New Delhi, Aug 28 (IANS) Crypto criminals have stolen more than $10 billion to date, despite crypto crime slowing down, a new report said on Monday.

According to data presented by AltIndex.com, crypto scammers and hackers stole more than $3.5 billion of cryptos in 2022.

Cryptocurrency heists took off in the last six years, going from only 15 hacks reported in 2017 to 136 in 2021, according to Comparitech data. 

During this time, the total value of stolen cryptos increased eight times, from approximately $324 million to a staggering $2.7 billion. 

Crypto security threats cost nearly $730 million in August 2021 alone. An individual stole $610 million of this total in a Poly Network heist, which ended up being the second-largest crypto hack. 

However, crypto crime skyrocketed last year, with crypto scammers and hackers stealing more money than in 2019, 2020, and 2021 combined.

Moreover, the report showed that the year 2022 saw 192 crypto heists, the highest number in the crypto market’s history, while hackers stole a whopping $3.54 billion of investor funds. 

Fortunately, the concerning trend slowed in 2023, with crypto criminals stealing approximately $905 million in eight months, or less than one-third of the value seen in the same period the previous year.

So far, 718 reported heists have resulted in criminals stealing $10.2 billion in cryptocurrency. Surprisingly, only one-fifth of the stolen funds, or $2.6 billion, have been recovered, with a recovery time of around 75 days on average, the report mentioned.

While 2023 saw a huge drop in the total value of stolen cryptos, the number of crypto heists remains high.

Since 2011, there have been 718 cases of crypto heists worldwide, and 70 per cent of them have happened in the last three years. As per the statistics, the year 2021 saw 136 crypto heists, 2.5 times more than the year before that, while, in 2022, the total number of crypto crimes jumped to 199, the highest figure to date, according to the report.

Even though crypto scammers and hackers stole only $905 million in the first eight months of this year, 2023 saw the second-highest number of crypto crimes.

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