Almost A Billion Of Dollars Was Stolen From Cryptocurrency Exchanges In 2018
Amount of funds stolen from bitcoin exchanges and trading platforns because of thefts reached $297 million for the first six months of 2018, this is by 250% more than in 2017, when the total amount of the funds stolen was $266 million, as the cybersecurity firm CipherTrace reports.
Also, the report’s authors draw attention to the fact that the number of thefts of relatively small amounts from $20 million to $60 million is growing. In total, $173 million were stolen in this way in Q3, 2018.
According to the researchers, the hackers see they have a lot of opportunities in the cryptocurrency space where, in addition to bitcoin, there are also more than 1600 various digital assets. Along with thefts themselves, other forms of scam gain popularity, too.
It is also noted that the number of criminal cryptocurrency transactions might be 50% bigger than the number specified in the company’s report. Thus, CipherTrace knows that about more than $60 million that were stolen but were not taken into account in the report.
Research’s authors say that more than $2.5 billion of bitcoins have been laundered via the largest cryptocurrency exchanges located in the countries with a light approach to money laundering regulation. CipherTrace claims that it has analyzed more than 20 exchanges having the largest trading volume, however, their names are not revealed.
As the CipherTrace CEO David Jevans says, the regulators are still several years late and only several countries have adopted effective laws regulating money laundering.
It is also said in the report that 236 979 bitcoins used to carry out criminal activities were bought via these exchanges. At a current butcoin rate, it is about $1,5 billion.
Money is laundered on all the exchanges, and it is impossible to stop this, adds Jevans. He says that the reason is clear: it is impossible to track commission of crime in the real time mode.
To recap, The Wall Street Journal claimed in September that $9 million allegedly connected with criminal activities had been laundered via a popular cryptocurrency platform ShapeShift for previous two years. This makes it the largest platform among other 46 cryptocurrency exchanges via which total amount of $88,6 million were laundered.