Crypto hacks: the 10-year history of billion-dollar attacks on cryptocurrencies

There are many features of cryptos that have attracted increasing attention, such as their degree of decentralization, transparency, and security. Some, however, have also wanted to test their degree of vulnerability, giving rise to crypto hacks. 

A report has delved into the topic referring to the last decade (2011-2023), also ranking the top 10 billion dollar hacks to crypto-exchanges. 

Crypto hacks: the report on billionaire attacks on cryptocurrencies over the past 10 years

A report wanted to analyze something related to cryptocurrencies: the billion-dollar crypto hacks that have occurred over the past 10 years. 

Basically, a number of sources were delved into to create key statistics that tell the story of how hacker attacks on cryptocurrencies have behaved from 2011 to 2023

Among the various results, it was found that in 2023 alone, $1.89 billion was lost in 297 crypto hack attacks. That is $289,000 lost every hour due to cryptocurrency hacks this year.

But that daunting figure for this still-ongoing year has nothing to do with the 2022 all-time high of $3.5 billion stolen in 284 theft incidents.

Taking crypto-exchanges as market players, then, it appears that the worst year was 2018, which saw crypto-trading platforms collectively lose $1.1 billion to hacking and theft incidents.

Over the past two years, DeFi is also seeing a significant increase in crypto hacks. 

Not only that, from 2011 to date, it appears that crypto companies and exchanges have lost a total of $12.36 billion in 1207 incidents. Of these, about 192 crypto-exchanges have been hacked and lost $3.80 billion in total. 

If one then thinks about which cryptocurrencies are in the crosshairs of crypto hacks, one cannot help but think of Bitcoin and Ethereum. And in fact, from 2011 to the present, there has been a total loss of 1,454,762 BTC and 1,175,082 ETH due to various hacks.

Crypto hacks: ranking of the top 10 crypto-exchanges robbed

According to the reported data, there is then a ranking of the top 10 crypto-exchanges robbed through crypto hacks from 2011 to the present

In first position is the theft at Coincheck, the Japanese crypto-exchange that appears to have been hacked on January 26, 2018 with a $534 million crypto hack in cryptocurrencies. 

Next is the now defunct Mt Gox, the crypto-exchange that was the victim of the $473 million theft in 2014. 

Also on the podium as the crypto-exchange that suffered the third largest crypto hack in history is FTX. Apparently, in early January of this year, FTX reportedly lost $415 million. 

But the ranking does not end there. Indeed, on the list is KuCoin which lost $281 million in 2020, suffered a $234 million crypto hack in 2018, and then BitMart which was robbed of $200 million in ETH and BNB in 2021. 

BitGrail in 2019 was also hacked by hackers losing $170 million, while Maiar DEX suffered a $113 million crypto hack in 2022. 

In the last two places in the ranking, there are then CoinBene, which in 2019 reportedly suffered about $100 million crypto hack attack, and, finally, Japan’s Liquid crypto-exchange, which in 2021 was robbed of $90 million. 

What are the biggest attacks on cryptocurrencies in the past 10 years?

A further ranking, then, wants to consider the 10 biggest attacks on cryptocurrencies that, in addition to crypto-exchanges, consider all other market players such as the blockchain networks themselves

First among them occurred at the Ronin Network (Axie Infinity), with the hacker stealing $625 million. Such a crypto hack was noticed on March 29, 2022, when Ronin Network-a blockchain network focused on gambling-revealed a loss of 173,600 ETH and 25,500,000 USDC

Also on the $600 million figure in stolen crypto is the hack to Poly Network’s DeFi cross-chain platform in 2021. Unlike the other attacks, however, in this one the hacker returned all the money after some dramatic incidents, receiving a $500,000 reward for finding a flaw in the system, along with a job offer.

Then in 2022, the famous Binance Smart Chain also fell victim to another hacker attack, causing it to lose 2,000,000 BNB, worth $566 million. 

A similar case to Poly Network, then, was also recently suffered by Huobi’s CEX, for which Justin Sun, founder of Tron, is the advisor. Basically, Huobi was hacked for 5,000 ETH, the equivalent at the time of $8 million. Again, however, it appears that the crypto hacker decided to return the robbed amount in exchange for a 250 ETH white hat bonus, the equivalent at the time of $400,000.

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