- Illicit activity involving cryptocurrency went down 15% in volume this year.
- The total scam revenue for 2022 is now $1.6 billion, a 65% decline compared to the same period in 2021.
- $1.9 billion worth of cryptocurrency has been stolen in hacks of services, compared to just under $1.2 billion at the same point in 2021
The cryptocurrency field is not devoid of scams and hacks. Despite 2022 being a tumultuous year for the crypto market, only a small percentage of people have fallen prey to cryptocurrency scams.
According to blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, Illicit activity involving cryptocurrency went down 15% in volume this year. The report adds that the total scam revenue for 2022 is now $1.6 billion, a 65% decline compared to the same period in 2021.
“it’s not just scam revenue falling — the cumulative number of individual transfers to scams so far in 2022 is the lowest it’s been in the past four years“, the report reads. This was mainly owing to the decreasing asset prices and the exit of inexperienced crypto users from the market.
Another factor the analytics platform points out for the decline is that large outliers have not yet driven a single significant scam in 2022 compared to past years when scammers behind PlusToken drained $2 billion in 2019, or Finiko stole $1.5 billion in 2021. The report adds that the biggest scam of 2022 so far netted $273 million worth of crypto, which only amounts to 24% of Finiko’s revenue through the end of July 2021.
Chainlysisi analysts have presented the possibility of a potential outlier emerging before the year-end, reversing the trend of declining scam revenue. Despite crypto scams declining, hacking and stolen funds still amount to a huge part of the illicit activity involving crypto.
As per the report, $1.9 billion worth of cryptocurrency has been stolen in hacks of services, compared to just under $1.2 billion at the same point in 2021. This figure, however, doesn’t include the $190 million hack Nomad Token Bridge or the $5 million Solana wallets hack in August.
Crypto-based hacking increased 58.3% through July 2022 to $1.9 billion. This figure does not include the $190 million Nomad bridge hack that began on Aug. 1. The Chainlayis report adds that approximately half of the crypto stolen in hacks came from North Korean elite hacking units such as Lazarus Group. Darknet market revenue also faced a huge decline in 2022 and is currently 43% lower than where it was through July in 2021.