Crypto hacks and scams are nothing new in the crypto space, but every time they happen, they still come as a shock to investors. Most especially the victims of these attacks. Bull markets always seem to come with an increased number of attacks. So with a bull market that has raged on for the better part of a year, 2021 has definitely had its fair share of attacks, despite just entering its ninth month of the year.
These attacks have accelerated with the recent crypto surge. Prices have been up across the board and it seems like this has been a cue for the attackers to ramp up their operations. This could be due in part to the high prices of the cryptocurrencies bringing much higher returns on their attacks. Whatever the case may be, attacks in 2021 have increased and data shows that the number this year will most likely surpass the record for last year.
Accelerated Crypto Attacks In 2021
Crypto hacks and scams had previously reached a record number in 2020. At a total of 32 identified cases in 2020, it was the year with the highest number of hacking and fraud incidents in the crypto market. In just eight months, there have been 32 identified cases of hacking and fraud in 2021. With six months to go and the bull rally raging on, more of these attacks can be expected to happen before the year runs out.
Since 2017, the number of breaches has consistently increased each year, according to an analysis from Crypto Head. 2017 marks the beginning of one of the most memorable bull runs in the crypto space. So it is no surprise that there was a jump in the number of attacks from the previous year. In 2016, there were only 5 identified cases of crypto hacking and fraud. But this number jumped to 21 the following year in 2017.
With four months left to go and DeFi exploits still on the rise, the number of attacks in 2021 may very well beat 38. These hacks and breaches are becoming even more sophisticated. Attackers are now developing tools that make their attacks harder to catch and trace.
2017 Attacks Carted Away The Biggest Loots
On average, just in 2017, attackers made away with $223.5 million on average. The total number of 21 attacks for the year came out to a balance of $4.7 billion stolen in crypto hacks and fraud. Setting the record for the highest amount stolen in a single year.
Despite having a higher number of attacks, 2020’s 38 identified cases came out to about $1.8 billion total. This amount already surpassed in 2021 by at least a billion. So far, the 32 combined attacks of 2021 have come out to a value of $2.9. The Poly Network attack that took place this year amounted to $610 million. Making it the biggest DeFi heist in history.
These attacks have mostly focused on the top coins in the crypto market, which, incidentally, also provide the most liquidity. About a third of these breaches have been targeted at the leading cryptocurrency, bitcoin. Ethereum comes in as second most targeted with 12.8%. Unknown coins make up about 9.2%, while ERC-20 tokens were targeted 7.4% of the time.
Total crypto market cap now trading at $2.29 trillion | Source: Crypto Total Market Cap on TradingView.com