The Strategist

$12B worth of cryptocurrency assets stolen around the world in 11 years

12/28/2021 - 06:20

Over the last 11 years, from 2011 to 2021, cryptocurrency assets worth $12 billion have been stolen.

Atlas VPN, a computer security firm, released the research. The sums have increased: in 2011, when the first known cryptocurrency exchange was hacked, attackers stole only $1 million worth of cryptocurrencies over the course of the year. Cryptocurrency worth $4.3 billion was stolen in 2021 alone.

Fraudulent platforms that take advantage of people's inability to identify whether a cryptocurrency exchange is trustworthy account for 40% of all losses, while platforms with a high risk of money laundering account for another 24%.

Fraud is the most common method of theft, with $7.1 billion taken, followed by hacking and other security breaches ($3.2 billion). Hacking attempts on the DeFi (decentralized finance) sector are behind, but this is where the amount taken is expanding the fastest, with the total amount stolen nearly doubling to $1.8 billion in the last year.