DailyPost 2654

The state of theft of cryptocurrencies remains a topic of interest and might be this can some impact on people gravitating of this mode of money. Money has always been a centre of attraction for thieves of various types and they indulge in modus operandi of different types to achieve this task. Cybercrimes in the BFSI sector is a matter of great concern. The money has graduated to become, what we call as cryptocurrencies, better known by Bitcoin and Ethereum in the layman’s world and the thieves, robbers and dacoits are the hackers of the day. The modus operandi of this new mode of theft is what is known as hacking.

What is the status of theft with regards to the newest form of money is a matter of interest for all? The data on it is out. In 2023 hackers stole around $2 billion in cryptocurrencies. It shows a trend of substantial decrease from an all-time record of around $3.8 billion in 2022. Among the major hacks contributing to this year’s figure was Hongkong based crypto company Mixin, with $200 million stolen in September in a data breach. Earlier in the year, in March 2023, cyber-criminals stole around $197 million from Crypto lending platform Euler France.

Given the efforts to bring cyber security the running mantra, the $2 billion crypto hacking this year, “though dispersed across various incidents, underscores the persistent vulnerabilities and challenges within the DeFi ecosystem.” 2023 stands witness to parallel streams of the ongoing vulnerabilities and the strides made in addressing them. Suffice to say, all these positive changes were happening when the interest was muted in this space because of ongoing bear market in the first half of the year. The hacks have certainly come in way of gaining credibility of the cryptocurrencies.

In Dec, HTX, a leading crypto exchange witnessed a massive outflow of $258 million after a $30 million hack in November. North Korea’s infamous Lazarus Group is linked to the theft of around $900 million between July 2022 and July 2023. This led to over $7 billion in cryptocurrency being illicitly laundered through cross chain crime. Cross chain crime means swapping of crypto assets between different tokens or blockchains – in rapid succession with no clear legitimate purpose. This is done to obfuscate their criminal origin. Still 2023 seems to be a welcome relief from $3.3 billion in 2021 and $3.8 billion in 2023 in cryptocurrency lost to the hackers. Hope this trend continues to make it more mainstream in the coming years.

Sanjay Sahay

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