Crypto Heists Surge in 2024 with Almost Half a Billion Dollars Stolen Year-to-Date

March 31, 3:43 pm

Last year, crypto scammers and hackers stole $1.75 billion worth of cryptos in 283 crypto heists, the highest number the market has ever seen, showing this type of criminal is getting worse every year. Unfortunately, 2024 is no exception, with the first three months seeing a worrying number of crypto heists, which caused shocking damage to the crypto community.

According to data presented by, crypto criminals have stolen nearly half a billion dollars year-to-date.

Nearly 50 Crypto Thefts YTD, One-Third of the Last Year`s Total

Crypto heists snowballed over the past five years, going from 46 thefts reported in 2019 to a shocking 283 in 2023, according to Comparitech data. The total value of stolen cryptos increased fivefold in this period, rising from $345 million to $1.75 billion, though this is not the highest figure the crypto market has seen. Compared to 2022 figures, the total amount of stolen money actually halved, but the number of thefts and scams increased by 40% year-over-year.

So far, it seems that the negative trend will continue in 2024. In the first three months of the year, hackers and scammers performed nearly 50 crypto attacks and stole roughly $430 million worth of crypto. These figures are even more worrying when compared to previous years.

Statistics show the first quarter of 2024 brought one-third of the total number of crypto heists reported last year and practically the same number reported in 2019 and 2020. Also, in just three months, crypto thefts have stolen $430 million, or practically one-third of the total amount of money stolen in 2023, the second-worst year for crypto thefts ever.

More than half of that value was stolen in just one scam. In February, crypto gaming platform PlayDapp suffered breaches resulting in the loss of PLA tokens worth $290 million, based on their market value at the time of the theft.

DeFi Remains the Favorite Playground for Hackers

The Comparitech data also showed DeFi protocols suffered the most losses in the first months of 2024, showing that DeFi remains scammers` favorite playground despite its uniqueness. Most thefts in the DeFi space happened due to flawed codes, where thieves use smart contract errors to steal money from protocols.

Statistics show DeFi scams made up 60% of all crypto heists in the first quarter of the year, with a total of 28 reported cases. January saw 12 DeFi attacks, while February and March both saw eight of these scams. At the same time, there were 12 reported crypto scams in this period.

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