• Over $30 billion in crypto has been stolen since 2012 in 1,101 documented incidents.
• Exchange hacks represented the largest losses, accounting for over $10 billion.
• Security incidents peaked from 2019-2021, with notable attacks including Mt. Gox and Bitfinex in 2014 and 2016 respectively.
Crypto Thefts on the Rise
A July 7 report from SlowMist revealed that over $30 billion in crypto has been hacked since 2012, amounting to nearly 3% of the current market cap of listed cryptocurrencies. The most common hacks included smart contract vulnerabilities, rug pulls, flash loan attacks, scams and private key leaks, with exchange hacks representing the steepest losses at over $10 billion. Security incidents peaked from 2019-2021, with notable attacks including Mt. Gox and Bitfinex in 2014 and 2016 respectively.
Top 5 Most Common Hacks
The top five most common crypto hacks are smart contract vulnerabilities, rug pulls, flash loan attacks, scams and private key leaks. Of the total recorded incidents of theft since 2012 there were 118 exchange hacks 217 Ethereum ecosystem hacks 162 BNB Smart Chain ecosystem hacks 119 EOS ecosystem hacks and 85 nonfungible token (NFT) related thefts.
Mt Gox and Bitfinex Attacks
In 2014 Mt Gox was the biggest Bitcoin exchange when it filed for bankruptcy after discovering that 850 000 of its customers’ BTC ($25 2 billion at time of publication) had been stolen by hackers which is still considered to be one of the biggest cryptocurrency thefts ever reported so far In 2016 another significant hack took place as Bitfinex a Hong Kong based Bitcoin trading platform lost 120 000 BTC $80 million worth at that time due to what appears to have been a security breach This attack prompted user to lose 36% of their value against USD compared to before the attack had taken place
Security incidents have been muted from 2022 onwards; this is consistent with other reports indicating that projects and users alike need to place a much higher priority on security than ever before
The SlowMist report reveals an alarming trend of increasing crypto thefts over the past decade amounting to billions of dollars worth of losses Despite this large number however recent data suggests that security measures are being taken more seriously as fewer heists have occurred since 2022