The past decade’s most significant financial hacks have been a crypto heist of some kind.
What Happened: According to a report from Traders of Crypto, the biggest financial hack to date was the Coincheck Crypto Heist of 2018, where hackers successfully stole $534 million from the Japanese cryptocurrency exchange.
The report noted that this was “the biggest theft in the history of the world,” which forced Coincheck to freeze all transactions.
Another Japanese crypto exchange hack comes a close second.
The Mt. Gox hack, which spanned from 2011 to 2014, saw $450 million user funds stolen by hackers.
The theft from Mt. Gox resulted in approximately 850,000 bitcoins being stolen from customers, leading to the eventual bankruptcy and closure of the exchange in 2014, according to the report. The amount of stolen Bitcoin would be worth nearly $46 billion at today’s prices.
Creditors of the defunct crypto exchange are reportedly still awaiting a resolution and are in the midst of voting on a draft rehabilitation plan for assets still held by the exchange.
The third most impactful financial hack of the decade took place just last year, when hackers stole $280 million from Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin.
Unlike most other crypto hacks, where the attackers primarily stole Bitcoin from exchanges, the KuCoin hackers stole $152 Ethereum-based altcoins.
Hackers reportedly used decentralized exchanges (DEXs) like Uniswap and Kyber to exchange the stolen tokens for the cryptocurrency Ether.
“With their huge volumes and lack of KYC checks, DEXs have become an obvious choice for money laundering in crypto,” noted crypto analytics firm Elliptic.
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