Crypto Hacks Net $19B Since 2011 and Illegal Activity on Blockchain Is Still Growing

In the past 13 years, 785 crypto thefts have taken place, Crystal Intelligence says.

AccessTimeIconJun 12, 2024 at 9:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Jun 12, 2024 at 5:31 p.m. UTC
  • Almost $19 billion of crypto has been stolen over the past 13 years.
  • The largest theft, $2.9 billion, took place in 2019.
  • Illegal activity on the blockchain has continued to grow in 2023 and 2024, the report said.

Almost $19 billion worth of cryptocurrency has been stolen in thefts dating back to 2011 and the industry continues to grapple with rising blockchain-related crime, according to a report from Crystal Intelligence.

The report notes 785 incidents of crypto theft comprising 220 security breaches, 345 decentralized finance (DeFi) hacks and 220 fraud schemes.

The largest theft occurred in 2019, when $2.9 billion was stolen in connection to the Plus Token Ponzi scheme. Crypto crime has continued to surge since then, and 2023 set records for the volume of crypto thefts with 286 incidents worth more than a total of $2.3 billion.

"Even with improved and enhanced monitoring and reporting mechanisms, illegal activity on the blockchain has continued to grow," the report said.

Over the past two years Ethereum has become the No. 1 target, with 131 incidents worth almost $1.3 billion in all. That's followed by Binance Smart Chain (BSC), hit 100 times for over $186 million.

The report takes into account all hacks until March 2024. Since then, Japanese crypto exchange DMM Bitcoin was hacked for $320 million, with the company saying it will raise the capital to pay back all affected users.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Oliver Knight

Oliver Knight is a CoinDesk reporter based between London and Lisbon. He does not own any crypto.

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