Finaria.it has published a new report on cryptocurrency theft, noting that "more money flowing through digital exchanges created an opportunity for malicious hackers and thieves looking to carry out frauds, scams and theft".
However, according to data presented by Finaria, "cryptocurrency criminals stole US$1.9bn in 2020, down from US$4.5bn in 2019."
Fraud was the Leading Cryptocurrency Crime in 2020, Followed by Theft and Ransomware
We're told that "the surge in cryptocurrency trading fuelled the dynamic growth of the cybercrime world. In 2018, cryptocurrency crimes hit $1.7bn value, revealed CipherTrace's annual Crypto Anti-Money Laundering and Crime Report. This figure soared by almost 165% year-over-year to $4.5bn in 2019."
"Statistics show fraud was the leading cryptocurrency crime last year, followed by theft and ransomware. Although the total value of cryptocurrency crime dropped in 2020, cryptocurrency theft jumped by 40% YoY and hit US$513 million, still far below the record of US$950 million from 2018.
"The survey revealed that decentralised finance (DeFi)- related hacks and scams added US$129 million to the combined value of cryptocurrency thefts in 2020, turning it into the next major threat vector for fraud and money laundering. Other thefts caused US$387 million worth of damage."
Chinese Ponzi Scheme Wotoken Stole Over $1B Worth of Crypto, the Biggest Fraud in 2020
"The last year's running total largely come from a single fraud, Wotoken, which functioned from July 2018 to October 2019, but was revealed in 2020. It worked as a classic multi-level-marketing project, but with a suspiciously high number of total hierarchical levels.
"The scam promised investors unrealistic returns using non-existent algorithmic trading software. Ultimately, one Wotoken operator, connected to the infamous PlusToken Ponzi scheme, stole nearly US$1.1 billion in cryptocurrency from more than 715,000 victims. China sentenced operators of the cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme to years in prison."
More infromation is available at the Finaria website here.