US$7.7 billion has been stolen in crypto scams and rug pulls in 2021 ↺
2021 is coming to an end, and the crypto market has settled a bit after a ferocious growth spurt over the course of the year. Besides these always exciting price surges and drops, crimes involving cryptocurrencies have unfortunately become a much more prominent topic in the crypto community. We just recently covered the hack of the well-known marketplace BitMart, in which cyber criminals managed to steal an astonishing 893 billion Shiba Inu coins.
The website Chainalysis has now published a report which takes a closer look at the crypto crime phenomenon and provides some striking numbers. These statistics for example claim that scammers stole a total of US$7.7 billion in crypto in 2021, which is 81% more than a year before, but still less than the record-setting numbers recorded in 2019.
However, one very specific type of scam has seen immense growth in 2021. So-called rug pulls and exit scams, in which the developers of a cryptocurrency suddenly vanish after selling all their assets, have unfortunately become much more common and now make up 37 percent of all crypto which has been stolen by scammers. Only one year ago, this kind of scam made up a mere one percent. Overall, US$2.8 billion has been stolen in rug pulls and exit scams like the infamous Squid Game token incident.
In conclusion, crypto holders should be particularly cautious when investing in new and unknown cryptocurrencies, while also being aware of more traditional crypto scams like Ponzi or pyramid schemes. Ideally, crypto investors should also store their valuable digital assets in a secure cold wallet like the Ledger Nano S Crypto Hardware Wallet, which is only US$59 on Amazon. More details on this year's crypto crime developments can be found in the extensive report by Chainalysis.