Crypto Hackers Stole a Record $3.8 Billion in 2022

27 February 23

In 2022, the crypto market was shaken by scandals, massive selloffs, and large-scale hacks. Even the ‘blue chip’ crypto currency Bitcoin fell over 60% in value in just over a year. Adding further insult to injury few major crypto exchanges, like FTX, completely collapsed prompting huge losses for investors.

Let’s shift our focus to the crypto hacks of 2022. Who is behind it? Why now?

Well, the past few years the crypto market was exploding. More and more private investors were talking about crypto and more importantly investing in it. Even the professional investors who often scuffed at crypto, blatantly calling it gambling, could no longer ignore the potential for massive returns.

Many were now seeing crypto as a viable long-term investing opportunity. In turn the purchased positions grew, becoming easier targets for hackers.

If we look at a 5-year chart of Bitcoin price together with the total value stolen in crypto hacks there is a clear correlation. The biggest targets of hacker’s for 2022 Decentralized finance protocols. 

If the blockchain based smart contract is cracked in most cases it is impossible to recover the stolen funds.

Chainalysis reckon that the Lazarus Group a North Korea linked cybercrime outfit is responsible for $1.7 billion in assets stolen throughout 2022. That is nearly half of the global yearly crypto theft total.

There are theories that North Korea uses the stolen crypto to fund its nuclear program. Yes, you read that right.

Here are the 3 biggest crypto hacks of 2022:

  • The Ronin hack – over $600m stolen from the “Axie Infinity” game users. The game uses Ronin Ethereum network to handle user transactions. This is the largest cryptocurrency hack to date.
  • The FTX hack – $477m worth of user crypto funds stolen.
  • The Wormhole hack – over $321m worth of tokens stolen.

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