The amount stolen in crypto heists is up 60% this year to $1.9 billion, according to Chainalysis
- The amount stolen in crypto heists is up 60% this year, according to a report by Chainalysis.
- Estimates show $1.9 billion was lost to hacks from January to July of this year, up from $1.2 billion last year.
The amount stolen in cryptocurrency heists is up 60% this year according to a report by Chainalysis, which estimates the industry has lost $1.9 billion in hacks from January to July of this year.
That's up from $1.2 billion reported in hacks the year prior.
"No area of cryptocurrency-based crime is bucking the 2022 trend of declining revenue like stolen funds," the blockchain analytics firm said in a blog post on Tuesday.
The upward trend is also likely to continue, given the increasing severity of crypto hacks this year. $192 million was just stolen this month in a hack on Nomad bridge alone, followed by another $200 million stolen from 8,000 hacked Solana wallets later in the same week.
Much of that is largely due to DeFi protocols, which hackers have been targeting since 2021, Chainalysis said. Protocols, which are programs that connect crypto transactions without a middleman, can make users vulnerable to hackers, as they're based on open-source code that can be studied by would-be thieves before executing a heist.
The research firm added that cyberattacks have largely come at the hands of North Korean hackers, who US authorities alleged stole at least $1 billion in crypto hacks and laundered money via Tornado Cash, a so-called crypto mixed which the Treasury Department sanctioned this month. Chainalysis estimated those heists likely stemmed from hackers finding an in through DeFi protocols.
Surprisingly, crypto scams are down this year, despite a big rise in 2021. The amount stolen in scams fell 65% to $1.6 billion, which Chainalysis said is in tandem with the fall in the price of bitcoin, which is down about 50% since January.
"Nobody likes a crypto bear market, but the one silver lining is that illicit cryptocurrency activity has fallen along with legitimate activity … Still, with huge increases in stolen funds, we can't afford to rest on our laurels," the research firm warned, pointing to the need for increased regulation in the blockchain.
Regulators have been pressured to tighten the leash on the crypto sector this year. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced it would nearly double the staff in its crypto unit, while a new plan by the US Senate would instate the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission as crypto's main industry watchdog.
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