Cryptocurrency-related crime has witnessed a sharp rise over the past few years. Recent reports indicate that over $900 Million has already been lost to hackers in the first three quarters of 2018 - and by all estimates, the number is going to go well past a Billion dollars when the entire year is considered. Reports from CipherTrace, a cryptocurrency intelligence firm, point out that as of the third quarter of 2018, $927 Million worth of cryptocurrency has been stolen.
With one whole quarter yet to be accounted for, it is safe to assume that over a Billion dollars have already been stolen this year. Over $731 Million worth of cryptocurrencies were stolen in the form of attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges. The $500 Million hack on Coincheck and the $195 Million hack of BitGrail were two of the biggest hacking attacks of the year. In addition to that, several smaller exchanges too, felt the brunt of these attacks.
The $927 Million figure does not include $50 Million worth of cryptocurrencies lost from CoinHoarder in phishing attacks - and another $60 Million which is lost but the information has not been made public so far. If these two statistics are to be added, the markets have already lost over a billion dollars.
Some insights from the Q3 reports give us a detail into what went down over the months of July, August and September in the markets. The report points out that the biggest incident of hacking in this period was that of the Coinrail hack, where $40 Million was stolen from the Korean cryptocurrency exchange. Another major incident was that of the Bithumb hack where $30 Million worth of cryptocurrencies were lost in a ‘Cyber Intrusion’. Further, a smart contract breach led to $23.5 Million being lost from Bancor. The 51% attack carried on Bitcoin Gold resulted in $18 Million worth of cryptocurrencies being lost.
On an interesting note, the report points out that most of these attacks took place in the US, where 56% of all attacks happened. Cryptocurrency related crime has been rising at a rather rapid pace - in addition to these hacking attacks, other forms of crypto crime include the likes of Twitter scams, cryptojacking - as well as more serious ones such as Ransomwares and scams where people impersonate tax officers and demand unpaid taxes to be paid in cryptocurrency.
With the cryptocurrency markets going through one of the dullest phases it has ever been in, these attacks can further damage the credibility of the system - and cause a disinterest among the public. Moreover, it also needs to be kept in mind that these are just the reported and public figures - there are possibly hacks worth millions of more dollars which are yet to come out in the public domain. Nevertheless, with a Billion dollars gone - the crypto markets need to give a serious thought to their safety systems.
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