- Chainalysis reports that in the first seven months of this year, hackers of various sites resulted in the theft of almost $1.9 billion worth of bitcoin.
- For both legal and illicit parties, the number of cryptocurrency transactions this year through July has fallen short of 2021.
- The Chainalysis study claims that hackers associated with North Korea have stolen $1 billion from DeFi protocols this year.
According to research published on Tuesday by blockchain analysis company Chainalysis, a stunning $1.9 billion worth of bitcoin was stolen in hacks of various services in the first seven months of this year, a 60% rise from the same period in the previous year.
Even though several cryptocurrencies saw a sharp decline in value in the first half of this year, there has been a surge. The paper blamed hacks on decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols for a large portion of the increase. Using software that enables users to deal directly with one another over the blockchain, the digital record that serves as the foundation for cryptocurrencies, the phrase is used to describe services that aim to replace traditional financial institutions.
Through July, the volume of cryptocurrency transactions this year, for both illegal and legal parties, has lagged to 2021. Overall, it appears that criminal activity is more resilient to price declines: Compared to respectable quantities, which are down 36% year over year, illicit volumes are only down 15%.
The aggregate numbers, though, don’t provide a complete picture. If we look more closely at particular types of cryptocurrency-based crime, we discover that some have risen in 2022 while others have fallen more precipitously than the market as a whole.
According to the Chainalysis research, hackers connected to North Korea have so far this year stolen $1 billion from DeFi protocols. These crimes are believed to be a part of a larger plan to assist the North Korean dictatorship in generating income, given that it is essentially cut off from the outside world.
Over the past two years, interest in DeFi transactions, which are primarily based on Ethereum blockchain technology, has significantly risen. According to Elliptic, a blockchain research company, these protocols are “uniquely vulnerable to hacking” as a result of their open source code, enormous asset pools, and rapid expansion that may have resulted in a gap in security best practices.