2022 recorded the highest number of crypto breaches and frauds – 120 incidents worth £1,866,240,500

After DeFi breaches, the second most common type of crypto attack was fraud, with 36 frauds occurring in 2022, an increase of more than 140% from 2021.

New research from CoinJournal, based on available data on major breaches and fraud since 2012, found that crypto hacks and fraud hit a record high in 2022, with incidents up 27.66% from 2021.

The year-on-year change list relating to crypto breaches and fraud puts 2022 at the top, with 120 incidents totaling £1,866,240,500, a 27.66% increase on 2021, which saw 94 incidents per a total of £4,037,707,250.

Although there were more incidents in 2022 (120 vs 94), there was a significant decline in the value of digital assets (£1,866,240,500 in 2022 vs £4,037,707,250 in 2021). The main reason behind this is that cryptocurrencies have entered a bear market in 2022. Digital assets have fallen sharply from all-time highs against fiat currencies.

Crypto fraud and breaches continue to rise

2020 was much quieter, with 31 incidents totaling £1,299,391,750 in digital assets lost to breaches and fraud. The year 2019 recorded 26 accidents worth £3,052,262,500. In 2018, there were 15 accidents and they were valued at £849,401,050. In 2017, there were 14 accidents, worth £563,360,450.

“2022 was the worst year for cryptocurrency fraud and breaches, with 120 different incidents occurring during the year. This was 26 more than the previous year, which equates to an increase of nearly 28%,” CoinJournal said. “The most common crypto attack was DeFi breaches, which occurred 80 times in 2022 alone, accounting for more than 66% of all incidents.”

After DeFi breaches, the second most common type of crypto attack was fraud, with 36 frauds occurring in 2022, an increase of over 140% from 2021. The largest fraud of 2022 was £53,940,000 .

“The US is the most targeted country, with 13 hacks and breaches since 2011. The last one was in July 2020, when hackers broke into verified Twitter accounts and launched a fake donation campaign,” continues the report. “The most expensive crypto scam was Plus Token, where nearly $3 billion worth of Bitcoin and Ethereum was stolen.”

BSC was the most stolen coin in 2022, with currency stolen a total of 50 times. This was a 72% increase from 2021, when it was stolen just 29 times. The second most stolen coin was ETH with 33x.

The largest fraud was the Plus Token Ponzi in 2019: $2.9 billion

Ronin’s DeFi breach was the largest attack in 2022, involving $650,000,000 worth of ETH and ERC20, followed by $326,000,000 worth of Solana’s Wormhole (SOL).

In 2021, the Thodex fraud in Turkey worth $2 billion was the largest incident, followed by the PolyNetwork DeFi breach worth $614,000,000.

In 2020, WoToken’s $1 billion fraud and KuCoin’s $281 million breach surpassed that year’s incidents, but the largest attack ever, according to CoinJournal research, was the Plus Ponzi tokens in 2019: $2.9 billion worth of BTC and ETH.

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