DeFi Has Accounted for Over 75% of Crypto Hacks in 2021

That works out to $361 million, 2.7 times more than in 2020, according to new report by CipherTrace.

AccessTimeIconAug 10, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:37 p.m. UTC

Over three-quarters of crypto hacks this year have occurred in decentralized finance (DeFi), according to a study by crypto intelligence firm CipherTrace.

  • DeFi-related hacks made up 76% of major hack volume in the crypto arena this year as of the end of July, CipherTrace's "Cryptocurrency Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Report" concluded.
  • That works out at some $361 million, 2.7 times more than in 2020.
  • According to CipherTrace's report, DeFi-related fraud made up 54% of major crypto fraud, up from just 3% in 2020.
  • An attack today on DeFi platform Poly Network that may have drained $600 million is a notable example of this trend.
  • Crypto crime in general, however, is declining compared with previous years. It totaled $4.5 billion in 2019, $1.9 billion in 2020 and dropped to $681 million in the first seven months of 2021.
  • Another major finding of the the report concerns the implementation of the cryptocurrency "travel rule." The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental body for preventing money laundering and terror financing, said not a single crypto service provider in any jurisdiction was fully compliant with the rule, which states that the sender and recipient of crypto funds must be properly identified.
  • CipherTrace released a tool in March designed to tackle fraud in this area by scanning addresses associated with incoming crypto transactions. Binance tapped CipherTrace's tool in July to aid its travel-rule compliance.

UPDATE (AUG. 10, 15:24 UTC): Adds attack on Poly Network


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.


CoinDesk - Unknown
Blockchain Analytics Firm Kaiko Raises $53M Series B Led by Eight Roads Amid Bear Market

The investment will enable Kaiko to further strengthen its institutional data products and infrastructure, it said.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown
Harmony Attacker Moves Over $44M Worth of Stolen Ether, Authorities Alerted

Harmony is working with two blockchain tracing and analysis firms and collaborating with the FBI, developers said.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown
Huobi Global Could Cut Over 30% Workforce as China Crackdown Leads to Fall in Revenue

China's decision to ban crypto trading last year caused Huobi a sharp drop in revenue.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown
Massachusetts Warns of Crypto Scams Targeting LGBTQIA+ Community

Scammers may be taking advantage of June being Pride Month to target this community.

CoinDesk - Unknown