There has been a marked decline in both the number of cryptocurrency exchange hacks and the amount of capital that has been stolen through this flavor of cybercrime. In 2018, $875 million was stolen in six major hacks; in 2019, an additional $282 million was pilfered in 11 hacks.
So far this year, there have been six cryptocurrency exchange hacks. While the exact amount of stolen capital from all of these hacks has not yet been totalled, estimates show that the total amount of crypto stolen is somewhere between $220 and $300 million.
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The largest and most recent of these hacks took place on Friday, September 26th around 19:05 UTC, when KuCoin announced that at least $150 million worth of Bitcoin and Ethereum-based ERC-20 tokens had been pilfered from the exchange’s ‘hot’ (online) wallets.
Larry Cermak, Director of Research at The Block, said that the amount stolen could be as much as $280 million.
So I did some accounting of the KuCoin hack based on the wallets very likely associated and based on my estimation, there was nearly $280 million of assets stolen, not $150M. This would make it the third-largest hack in history and 7 times larger than the Binance hack last year.. pic.twitter.com/iESWm1EGPh
— Larry Cermak (@lawmaster) September 28, 2020
However, until then, centralized exchanges – warts and all – will continue to be the norm.
Finance Magnates reached out to KuCoin for commentary on this story. KuCoin was not immediately available for comment. Comments will be added as they are received.