Blockchain analytics firm CipherTrace released a report this morning showing that roughly $1.7 billion in cryptocurrency was stolen or scammed over the course of 2018. The amount stolen by hackers alone is staggering: over $950 million. The figure represents an increase of more than 300% from 2017.
The scams noted in the report don’t even include individual user scams. Instead, they focus on exchange exit scams, phony exchange hacks, and ICO scams. They account for an additional $725 million.
If you adjust for the lower prices of cryptocurrencies in 2018, as much as 500% of actual crypto-tokens is more like it. The majority of coins stolen in 2018 were done through hacking exchanges and other services. CipherTrace believes the losses were probably much higher: These numbers only represent the loot from crypto crimes that CipherTrace can validate; we have little doubt that the true number of crypto asset losses is much larger.