Much Gained, Much Lost
Since the inception of Bitcoin in 2009, the development of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies have certainly experienced a unique set of challenges. Due to the blockchain’s unique characteristics of being anonymous, immutable and decentralized, hackers have shown a high level of interest in cryptocurrencies ever since its early days.
This interest in Bitcoin and other altcoins significantly increased in 2011 when, for the first time ever, the price per Bitcoin rose above $10, proving its growth potential and the possibility of a real-world adoption.
The growth of the Bitcoin-related community such as the Bitcoin forum, also developed in 2011, marked the beginning of increased public reporting of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency scams and hacks.
Below, you can find our curated list of the most notable Bitcoin and altcoins hacks ever reported. We will continue to actively curate this list to expose the magnitude of harm cryptocurrency hacks have on the crypto community as a whole.
This list is by no means comprehensive for all of the losses related to cryptocurrency hacks and scams. Actually, most of the scams and frauds related to cryptocurrencies occur much more frequently to individuals in smaller quantities, which often go unreported. This is one of many reasons why we also created Crypto Aware, as well as established the First Responder Network to help record and combat crypto-related scams and frauds.
The future success of cryptocurrencies and blockchain-related technologies resides in benefiting and contributing to the well-being of its users, please consider helping us in the battle to keeping our crypto-community safer and free of scams and hacks.
The Increasingly Frequent Attacks On The Crypto Community
2018 is on track to becoming the worst year of crypto losses in terms of assets stolen. So far, just in the first quarter alone, the reported loss has grown to over $670 million USD. We have also witnessed significant attacks on altcoins in the past year. Below are some of the highlights from our curated loss data. Please note that all USD estimated value is based on average market value at the time of the event.
- Biggest Bitcoin hack: Mt Gox. Around 800,000 BTC, equivalent of $450 million USD at time of event was lost.
- Biggest Ethereum hack: The DAO incident. About 3,600,000 ETH, equivalent of $60 million USD, was lost in this hack. This caused the eventual hard fork of the Ethereum blockchain.
- Most notable recent hack: Coincheck reported loss of 500,000,000 NEM, equivalent of $400 million USD. This event raised serious discussion regarding crypto exchange regulations.
- Company with most notable hacks recorded: Bitcoinica wins the spot with 3 recorded hacks, resulting in a total reported loss of over 78,000 BTC
- Estimated USD Loss From Top Hacks and Scams (2011-2018 YTD): ~ $2.3 Billion USD
- Estimated Crypto Loss From Top Hacks and Scams (2011-2018 YTD):
- 1.7 million BTC
- 4.5 million ETH
- 304k LTC
- 500 million NEM
- 30 million USDT
- 17 million NANO
- 670k XLM
|Name||Reported Loss (Crypto)||Reported Loss (USD)||Occurred On||Source(s)|
|MyEtherWallet DNS hack||215 ETH||$152,000||April 2018||Forbes|
|Coinsecure Theft||438 BTC||$3,300,000||April 2018||Coindesk|
|South Korean Bitcoin Pyramid Scheme||N/A||$20,000,000||April 2018||Coindesk|
|GainBitcoin India Ponzi Scheme||N/A||$300,000,000||April 2018||Cointelegraph|
|Dantang coin Ponzi||N/A||$13,000,000||April 2018||CryptocurrencyNews|
|iFan/Pincoin Token Scam||N/A||$650,000,000||April 2018||VNExpress|
|BTC Global Ponzi Scam||N/A||$50,000,000||Mar 2018||Coindesk|
|Coinhoarder Phishing Scams (ongoing)||N/A||$50,000,000||Feb 2018||Cisco Research|
|Seele ICO Theft||2,162 ETH||$1,800,000||Feb 2018||Cointelegraph|
|Bee Token Phishing||890 ETH||$928,000||Feb 2018||Coindesk|
|BitGrail Theft||17,000,000 NANO||$170,000,000||Feb 2018||Bitcoinist|
|BlackWallet Theft||670,000 XLM||$400,000||Jan 2018||Coindesk|
|Coincheck||500,000,000 NEM||$400,000,000||Jan 2018||Bloomberg|
|Youbit korean exchange hack||Exact amount not reported. Lost 17% of assets||?||Dec 2017||Bloomberg|
|NiceHash Hack||4,700 BTC||$62,000,000||Dec 2017||Reddit
|Parity Wallet suicides||513,774 ETH||$160,000,000||Nov 2017||Paritytech|
|Tether Token Hack||$30,950,010 USDT||$30,000,000||Nov 2017||Coindesk|
|Enigma Project Scam||1,500 ETH||$500,000||Aug 2017||Coindesk|
|Parity wallet hack||153,000 ETH||$30,000,000||July 2017||Coindesk|
|Coindash ICO hack||43,500 ETH||$10,000,000||July 2017||Coindesk|
|Yabizon (Youbit)||3,816 BTC||$5,300,000||April 2017||Bitcoin|
|Asian-European Currency Ponzi Scam||N/A||$47,000,000||Jan 2017||Cointelegraph|
|OneCoin Pyramid Scheme (ongoing)||N/A (actual scale unknown since the blockchain was never operational, actual loss could be much much more than estimated $50m)||$50,000,000||Dec 2016||Bitsonline|
|Bitcurex||2,300 BTC||$1,500,000||Oct 2016||Bitcoin|
|Bitfinex||120,000 BTC||$77,000,000||Aug 2016||Arstechnica|
|DAO hack||3,600,000 ETH||$60,000,000||June 2016||Coindesk|
|Kipcoin||3,000 BTC||$690,000||Feb 2015||NewsBTC|
|Bter||7,170 BTC||$1,750,000||Feb 2015||Coindesk|
|Bitstamp||19,000 BTC||$5,200,000||Jan 2015||Arstechnica|
|796 Exchange||1,000 BTC||$230,000||Jan 2015||Cointelegraph|
|BitPay||5,000 BTC||$1,800,000||Dec 2014||Coindesk|
|Mintpal||3,894 BTC||$1,300,000||Oct 2014||Bitcoin|
|Poloniex||97 BTC||$64,000||March 2014||Coinsutra
|CryptoRush Theft||950 BTC|
|Flexcoin Theft||896 BTC||$600,000||March 2014||Coindesk|
|Mt Gox Hack||850,000 BTC||$450,000,000||Feb 2014||The Guardian|
|Picostocks Hack||6,000 BTC||$3,000,000||Nov 2013||Bitcoinexchangeguide|
|BIPS Hack||1,295 BTC||$650,000||Nov 2013||The Guardian|
|Inputs.io Hack||4,100 BTC||$1,200,000||Oct 2013||The Guardian|
|Vircurex||1,454 BTC||$160,000||May 2013||Coindesk
(related to bitcoinica hack in May 2012)
|20,000 BTC||$260,000||Dec 2012||Newsbtc|
|Bitfloor Theft||24,000 BTC||$250,000||Sept 2012||Arstechnica|
|BitFloor Hack||24,000 BTC||$250,000||Sept 2012||Coindesk|
|Bitcoin Savings & Trust||265,000 BTC||$2,800,000||Aug 2012||The Verge
|Bitcoinica 3||40,000 BTC||$305,200||July 2012||Bitcointalk|
|Bitcoinica 2||18,000 BTC||$91,000||May 2012||Bitcoin|
|Linode Hack||46,700 BTC||$228,000||March 2012||Arstechnica|
|Bitcoin7||11,000 BTC||$50,000||Oct 2011||Bitcointalk|
|MyBitCoin Theft||154,406 BTC||$2,000,000||Aug 2011||Observer|
|allinvain wallet theft||25,000 BTC||$500,000||June 2011||Bitcointalk|