Cryptocurrencies Theft: Hackers Stole $2 Billion in July
As investors continue to see pressures along digital assets valuations after a 70% market correction on some cryptocurrencies’ prices, the illicit activities in the space continue to worsen.
Recall that Chainanalysis said earlier in 2022 that criminal whales hold over $25 billion in cryptocurrency from a multitude of illicit sources. In a recent report, blockchain data platform Chainalysis report indicates that hackers stole about $2 billion in July amidst alleged cases of terrorism financing using cryptoassets.
In 2019 and 2020, al-Qaeda raised cryptocurrency through Telegram channels and Facebook groups. Thanks to the FBI, HSI, and IRS-CI, more than $1 million was seized from a money service business (MSB) operator who facilitated some of these transactions.
In the early spring of 2021, al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, collected more than $100,000 in donations. In July, the Israeli government seized much of it from associated MSBs.
Though global market regulators are stepping up on possible ways to regulate the market, success rate has not been impressive. Stepping up to the new tide, trading risks have been worsened by the increasing activities of the men of the darkweb, posing threat to trading activities across the crypto exchanges.
According to the Chainanalysis report, monthly cryptocurrency value received by illicit entities, and the volume of funds that hackers received in their wallets is still moving in an uptrend despite the plunge in the crypto market.
It noted that as of July, hackers stole a bit less than in the same period in 2019 and 2021, but the situation may change in winter as it is usually the most profitable month for a group of users who conduct illicit activities, scamming and hacking included.
On the positive side, it spotted a notable decrease in the cumulative monthly value received by scams. At press time, the total revenue of scammers sits at $1.6 billion, which is 65% lower than where it was through the end of July of last year.
The main reason behind the decreasing revenue made by scammers is attributed to the ongoing market corrections in the cryptos space, which pushes away new retail investors who are usually the main target of scammers in the cryptocurrency industry.
In addition to the drop in overall scam-related volume, it noted that the decrease in the cumulative number of transfers to scams in 2022, signals increasing education among investors about scamming or suspicious projects.
Since 2021, no major scam projects of the same calibre as PlusToken or Finiko appeared in the space, which is why the cumulative volume only comprises a batch of small projects that collected far less than $100 million per run.
Earlier in the year, Chainanalysis stated in a report that transactions involving illicit addresses represented just 0.15% of cryptocurrency transaction volume in 2021 despite the raw value of illicit transaction volume reaching its highest level ever. READ: Iranian Hackers Infiltrating Telecoms, ISPs, NCC Alerts Nigerians
It said cryptocurrency theft grew even more, with roughly $3.2 billion worth of cryptocurrency stolen in 2021 — a 516% increase compared to 2020. Roughly $2.2 billion of those funds — 72% of the 2021 total — were stolen from DeFi protocols. # Cryptocurrencies Theft: Hackers Stole $2 Billion in July