In 2021 hackers stole $ 14 billion worth of cryptocurrencies

In 2021 hackers stole $ 14 billion worth of cryptocurrencies
  • Chainalysis’ Crypto Crime Trends for 2022 report noted that cybercriminals stole more than $ 14 billion worth of cryptocurrency in 2021.
  • This growth represented an increase of 79% compared to 2020 where the DeFi market was the most affected.
  • 21% of the attacks were due to code vulnerabilities that are present in many of the new protocols that are being launched.

In an expanding technology such as cryptocurrencies, there are always opportunists, and there are opportunists with good intentions and with bad intentions. The former are called investors, while the latter are hackers. The latter group stole record numbers during 2021.

According to the report Crypto Crime Trends for 2022 from blockchain analytics firm Chainanalysis, Cybercriminals stole $ 14 billion worth of cryptocurrencies, which is a landmark. With respect to 2020 there was a 79% increase. The most common way was through scam.

DeFi, a target market for hackers

Decentralized finance cuts out the middlemen and thus also saves all the banking bureaucracy. You can take out a loan in minutes without giving almost any information. This powerfully attracted the attention of the ecosystem and decentralized finance grew 912% in the past 12 months.

The growth and ignorance of DeFi (decentralized finance) opened a door for thieves to plant false scenarios and thus keep users’ private keys. In its annual Crypto Crime report, Chainanalysis referenced this.

DeFi is one of the most exciting areas of the broader crypto ecosystem and presents enormous opportunities for both entrepreneurs and crypto users. But DeFi is unlikely to realize its full potential if the same decentralization that makes it so dynamic also enables widespread scam and theft.“says the firm’s report.

In 2021 hackers stole $ 14 billion worth of cryptocurrencies

DeFi vulnerabilities

21% of the attacks received in the DeFi took advantage of the code vulnerabilities that are present in many of the new protocols that are being launched, noted Chainalysis head of research Kim Grauer.

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While the authority recognized that many platforms are secure and perform code audits, many users prefer to risk more than the account. Working on these risky platforms with impossible returns usually ends in the worst way. These are usually the ones exploited by hackers.

Cryptocurrency theft grew even further, with approximately $ 3.2 billion in cryptocurrency stolen in 2021, an increase of 516% compared to 2020. Of whichs approximately $ 2.2 billion of those funds were stolen from DeFi protocols, ”the report notes.

Top scams

One of the most common scams in 2021 has been the “rug pull”. This starts out as a project that seems to be serious, but when enough money comes in, the developers run away with all the proceeds and the whole vanishes. To avoid falling into this technique it is very valuable to analyze very well where to put the money. More of the $ 2,800 stolen dollars came through this way.

Beyond the fact that the $ 14 billion dollars means a record number, the researchers are not against cryptocurrencies. They even point out that the growth of the legitimate use of these surpasses by a wide margin those that do not. Transactions involving illicit addresses hit a low of just 0.15% of the 15.8 trillion in total volume in 2021.

Criminal activity grew in 2021, although this went hand in hand with the exponential inflow of money that reached the crypto ecosystem. Probably in 2022 a new record will be set and this, although it seems difficult to believe, will be positive: it will mean that more and more dollars are blocked. The figure to look at is not the amount, but the percentage, which should continue to be kept low.

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