Between 2011 and 2020, cryptocurrency breaches rose an average of 41 per cent every year, with a suspected $1.77 billion stolen in 2020 alone.
Alarming new statistics about the scale of cryptocurrency thefts were released by research firm Crypto Head in late August, with the statistics showing that the number of hacks has increased by an average of 41 per cent every year.
Over the last 10 years, the estimated value of stolen cryptocurrency funds totals $19.2 billion.
The US was the most targeted country with a reported 17 breaches, followed by the UK with 12 breaches, nine breaches for South Korea, seven breaches for Japan and six breaches in China.
However, despite topping the list for number of breaches, the US and UK didn't top the charts for the value of cryptocurrency stolen.
The biggest loser was Turkey, which lost $2 billion through the Thodex scam, Japan, which lost a total of $1.2 billion, and China at $1 billion.
Over the last 10 years, the most common reported type of attack were breaches of crypto wallets and exchanges, with a recorded 126 breaches. The number of breaches remains higher than DeFi (decentralised finance) and fraud attacks, numbering at 41 each.
Despite having fewer cases, Crypto Head found that fraud was more lucrative to cyber criminals. The research found that cyber criminals stole an average $365 million, which Crypto Head reported totals 14 times larger than the funds lost to breaches.
In fact, the largest three cases of crypto theft were all Ponzi schemes. Of which the largest, the OneCoin scheme, stole $4 billion, while Plus Token Ponzi stole $2.9 billion and Bitconnect Ponzi stole $2.6 billion.
“In particular, the number of exchanges and currencies that are being targeted by hackers stealing coins has increased, as many crypto and blockchain technologies are still in their infancy so they can be more easily exploited,” Crypto Head’s James Page wrote.
Throughout the company’s analysis, they did not include funds that were seized by government or law enforcement entities.