In 2019 alone, cybercriminals were able to siphon away $4.26 billion from cryptocurrency users and exchanges

27 august 2019

For fraudsters and cybercriminals, 2019 has been a big year. According to a report by CipherTrace, since January $4.26 billion in total has been stolen from cryptocurrency exchanges, investors and users.

„2019 could also turn out to be the year of the exit scam.”, according to the report. On top of the QuadrigaCX disaster, which is updated in this report, one alleged Ponzi scheme in this quarter appears to have defrauded millions of users out of $2.9 billion in crypto assets. Other exit scams, such as Coinroom and Bitsane, are still under investigation and those losses are not included and this report’s total. Rivalling robberies in the first quarter, hackers stole more than $124 million from exchanges and infrastructure in Q2, making a total of $227 million stolen from exchanges so far this year. In addition, $851 million was “lost” by Bitfinex.

While the total dollar value of Q2 2019 thefts would currently be dramatically higher due to the recovery of cryptocurrency prices from the lows of the crypto winter, this report uses the value of the lost loot at the time of the scam or robbery.

Also, these numbers reflect only the losses that CipherTrace has validated; undoubtedly more losses occurred during the quarter. In the case of the Wall Street Market takedown, the principals were prevented from completing their $11 million exit scam (also not included in this report’s total) when Europol beat them to the punch by seizing that dark marketplace’s crypto and fiat assets.

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Nic Marius Balaceanu – Founder & CEO Lendrise

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