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$3.7 billion was lost to crypto scams and hacks in 2022 – the worst year in the market’s history

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Cybercrime and crypto hackingDeFi scams make up a majority of the fraud in cryptocurrency.

Vladimir Kazakov/Getty Images

  • $3.7 billion was lost to crypto scams, hacks, and exploits in 2022, according to blockchain audit firm CertiK.
  • That marks the worst year ever for the industry, which lost $3.2 billion in 2021.
  • Among last year’s notable hacks, Sky Mavis’ Ronin Bridge was exploited for $625 million in April. 

Cryptocurrency markets lost $3.7 billion to scams, hacks and exploits in 2022 — the worst year for the industry and up from $3.2 billion in 2021, according to data from blockchain audit firm CertiK.

While December was the least harmful month in 2022 with roughly $62 million worth of crypto-based exploits, more than $595 million worth of tokens was stolen in November, CertiK added. 

A separate report from blockchain analytics firm TRM Labs also put 2022’s losses at $3.7 billion and estimated that about 80% of the stolen funds involved attacks against decentralized finance (DeFi) projects. 

Among the notable hacks last year, North Korea’s Lazarus Group made off with $625 million after exploiting Axie Infinity’s Ronin Network in April. That followed the nearly $325 million attack on cross-chain service Wormhole in February. 

Ari Redbord, head of legal and government affairs at TRM Labs, told Insider that North Korea alone was responsible for over $1 billion of stolen funds. 

“When you’re talking about billions of dollars and North Korea, you’re talking about a country with essentially no GDP, so they’ve essentially created an economy laundering cryptocurrency and we know those funds aren’t going to fund a lifestyle,” Redbord said.

He added: “They’ll be used for nuclear proliferation or ballistic missile systems. In 2022, these hacks moved from being a law enforcement issue to being a national security issue.”

Crypto markets had a rocky 2022, with nearly two-thirds of its market value being wiped out over the span of a year, according to data from Messari. The industry continues taking hits from the fallout of Sam Bankman-Fried’s once-$32 billion crypto empire FTX, which caused widespread contagion in the last two months of the year. 

Read the original article on Business Insider
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