Crypto Hacks Has Wiped $19B Since 2011: Crystal Intelligence

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By: Khan Sajid / June 14, 2024

Crypto Hacks Has Wiped $19B Since 2011: Crystal Intelligence

Key Takeaways:

  • Crypto hacks have stolen $19 billion over 13 years
  • 2022 was the deadliest year, with $4.2 billion stolen in 199 hacks.
  • $579 million stolen in DeFi hacks during 2023-2024.

A massive $19 billion worth of digital assets has been stolen through 785 reported crypto hacks and exploits over the past 13 years, according to an eye-opening report by EU-based crypto compliance firm Crystal Intelligence.

The Biggest Crypto Heists of All Time

While the crypto industry has witnessed numerous security breaches, some stand out as particularly devastating. For instance, the 2019 Plus Token fraud remains the largest single crypto theft case to date, with attackers netting $2.9 billion worth of Bitcoin and Ether. More recently, in February 2024, the $290 million security breach on PlayDapp marked the largest single crypto heist of the past two years.

Crypto hacks, Crypto Hacks Has Wiped $19B Since 2011: Crystal Intelligence
Crypto amounts lost in hacks and scams in 2023/24. Source: Crystal intelligence

Crypto hacks and exploits aren’t the only concern – fraud schemes have also taken a significant toll. The JPEX investment scam in Hong Kong stands as the largest single crypto fraud scheme during the past two years. This resulted in a loss of $194.3 million in stolen crypto.

As the first quarter of 2024 drew to a close, $542.7 million worth of digital assets had already been stolen. This represents a 42% increase compared to the same period in 2023. This statistic suggests that crypto hacks in 2024 could potentially surpass the previous year’s figures.

2022 Was The ‘Deadliest Year’

Crypto hacks & scams per year.
Crypto hacks & scams per year. Source: Crystal intelligence

While 2023 witnessed the highest number of crypto-related hacks, 2022 remains etched in history as the “deadliest year by value.” A total of 199 exploits resulted in over $4.2 billion worth of stolen digital assets, nearly double the amount lost in 2023.

Crypto hacks, Crypto Hacks Has Wiped $19B Since 2011: Crystal Intelligence
Number of crypto hacks and scams per year. Source: Crystal intelligence

Despite enhanced monitoring and reporting mechanisms, illegal activity on the blockchain has continued to grow in 2023 and 2024, according to the Crystal Intelligence report. 

The Battle Against DeFi Hacks

Almost 112 decentralized finance (DeFi) hacks were reported in 2023 alone, resulting in the loss of $835 million worth of cryptocurrency. However, security breaches have proven even more costly. 68 separate incidents led to over $1 billion in stolen digital assets during the same year. This means that the amount lost in DeFi hacks is less than the security breaches, but they occur more often.

Crypto hacks, Crypto Hacks Has Wiped $19B Since 2011: Crystal Intelligence
Top 10 DeFi hacks 2023/24. Source: Crystal Intelligence

The Euler Finance hack stands out as the largest single DeFi hack during 2023 and 2024. This devastating security breach stole $197 million worth of Ether tokens.

The Euler Finance hack is just one example of the growing threat of cybercrime targeting DeFi platforms. In fact, the top 10 DeFi hacks that occurred in 2023 and 2024 collectively accounted for $579 million in stolen digital assets. 

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