2018 was a Year of Huge Losses to Cryptocurrency Heists

The number of hackers targeting cryptocurrency exchange due to its rising popularity. Cryptocurrency thefts hit enormous losses in 2018.
Cryptocurrency Losses Heists

Many incidents of cryptocurrency hacks happen in 2018 that shook the crypto market. Shutterstock/Images

A market report on the value of cryptocurrency lost to thieves shows that it is set to surpass the $1 billion mark at the end of 2018. The end of 2018 Q3 report shows that $927 billion in cryptocurrencies were lost to spooks, hackers, and other marauders online with Q4 figures yet to be tallied. In contrast, in 2017, the losses recorded came to $731 million.

A comprehensive look at losses recorded in 2018 up to the end of September was undertaken by Cipher Trace cryptocurrency Intelligence[1].


The Major Thefts of 2018

So, what was responsible for the massive hike in losses? A look at the incidents reported during the year will provide a quick clue.

CoinCheck Japan

The biggest hack in history until the Coincheck occurrence was the Mt Gox one which led to the loss of $487million. However, in January 2018, Coincheck walked into the history books when hot wallets hosting NEM tokens were hauled into the unknown[2].

This case has become the eye-opener to major exchanges around the globe. Now, exchanges have learned to store tokens and coins in cold wallets to minimize online hacks.

Coinrail

Coinrail

Cryptocurrency market face losses as south Korean coinrail exchange got hacked. bitcoinexchangeguide.com

The South Korean exchange lost $40 million to hackers during a network breach. Coinrail is listed among the Top 90 global exchanges and during the hack, some altcoins were lost.

The losses were:

  • NPXS tokens $19.5m
  • Dent $5.8m
  • Tron $1.1m
  • Aston X $13.8m

It is important to note that the losses arose from an intrusion into Coinrail and not the specific companies who issued the tokens.

The Bithumb Hack

Bithumb is another Korean exchange that lost $31 million to hackers in the course of 2018. Bithumb is listed among the Top 10 global crypto exchanges with its huge trading in Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash.

The exchange was compromised[2] when hackers attacked some wallets on the exchange. This attack was another reason to implore people never to store their tokens and coins on exchanges.

ZAIF Japan

ZAIF Japan

Japanese cryptocurrency exchange ZAIF was the victim of the major hack. dcforecasts.com

ZAIF is a prominent cryptocurrency exchange in Japan, and it was hit by the theft bug in September 2018. The attack led to the loss of Monacoin, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin. This attack was another dent[3] on the vulnerability index of cryptocurrency exchanges around the world.

The attack also led to the rollout of stringent guidelines by the Japanese authorities in other to stem the losses and plug known loopholes.

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Sundry Losses

Other losses recorded during 2018 in the crypto sphere included incidence of fraudulent ICOs, missing tokens and coins as well as loss of private keys.

It might be considered understandable that the crypto world is yet in its infancy and as such, best practices are still evolving in the security considerations.

Read Next: Is It Possible To Create Your Own Cryptocurrency For Free?


Last Words

There is a great cause for concern that the humongous losses of cryptocurrencies to fraudsters and hackers were in 2018 are regrettable. However, as exchanges, traders and investors take to known safeguards, hopefully, the losses might be stemmed in the coming year.

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Disclaimer

The writer’s views are expressed as a personal opinion and are for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.

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Written by Reviewed by Coin Review Team
Published: Dec 14, 2018
Last Updated: Jan 16, 2019

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