$11.5 billion in cryptocurrency lost in 2022 due to hacks and fraudsters

$11.5 billion in cryptocurrency lost in 2022 due to hacks and fraudsters

Author: Robert Strickland (crypto-journalist)

Bitcoin's share of illegal cryptocurrency transactions has shrunk significantly due to the emergence of many other networks. Attackers favor the TRON blockchain

$11.5 billion in various cryptocurrencies were lost by their owners in 2022 due to hacks and fraudulent schemes.

In 2022, according to TRM Labs, at least $7.8 billion was invested in pyramid schemes and $3.7 billion was stolen in hacks. Another $1.5 billion in digital assets was spent on the darknet, a marketplace specializing in the sale of illegal drugs, analysts said.

About $2 billion of the funds stolen by hackers were stolen as a result of attacks on cross-network bridges that allow the transfer of cryptocurrencies from one blockchain to another, the report said. Analysts noted that criminals are also increasingly resorting to such schemes to make it more difficult to track the movement of assets.

"The era of multi-network systems has had a huge impact on the distribution of illicit cryptocurrency in general, and bitcoin's share (of that distribution) has fallen from 97 percent in 2016 to 19 percent in 2022," the report said.

Bitcoin accounted for two-thirds of stolen cryptocurrencies in 2016; in 2022, it accounts for just under 3%.

And while in 2016 bitcoin was the only cryptocurrency used for terrorist financing, by 2022 it was almost completely replaced by assets on the TRON blockchain - their share was 92%, according to the report. This network became popular because of the low fees, which is why most of the USDT stablecoin turnover occurs on TRON.

In May 2023 alone, hackers and fraudulent crypto projects stole $71 million in cryptocurrency. In early June, the biggest hack of the year occurred - an attacker stole more than $100 million from users of the cryptocurrency wallet Atomic Wallet.

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