A recent report by SlowMist, a blockchain security firm, has unveiled that a staggering $30 billion worth of cryptocurrency has been hacked in 1,101 documented incidents from 2012 to the present.
This amounts to approximately 2.5% of the total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies. The report highlights the top five most common types of hacks and sheds light on notable incidents, including the infamous Mt. Gox and Bitfinex hacks.
SlowMist’s report identifies smart contract vulnerabilities, rug pulls, flash loan attacks, scams, and private key leaks as the most common types of hacks.
Among the documented incidents, exchange hacks accounted for the largest losses, surpassing $10 billion over the past decade.
The report also highlights specific ecosystems targeted, with 217 hacks within the Ethereum ecosystem, 162 within the BNB Smart Chain ecosystem, 119 within the EOS ecosystem, and 85 hacks related to nonfungible tokens (NFTs).
The report brings attention to two significant early attacks in the history of Bitcoin. In 2014, Mt. Gox, once the largest Bitcoin exchange globally, filed for bankruptcy after discovering that 850,000 BTC had been discreetly stolen over several years, totaling $25.2 billion at the time.
Mt. Gox has since managed to recover 200,000 BTC and is in the process of redistributing them to creditors. In 2016, Bitfinex experienced a security breach resulting in the loss of 119,576 BTC, valued at approximately $70 million then and around $3.7 billion now.
The United States Department of Justice managed to recover 94,000 of the stolen BTC in February 2022.
The report reveals that hack events with losses exceeding $1 billion peaked in the early 2010s and between 2019 and 2021.
However, since 2022, there has been a decrease in the number of security incidents, aligning with findings from other reports.
While this decrease is promising, it underscores the ongoing challenges of securing cryptocurrencies and emphasizes the urgent need for robust security measures within the crypto ecosystem.