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Chainanalysis: In 2022, Bitcoin Theft Increased while Scams and Ransomware Reward Decreased

In its latest Crypto Crime Report, blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis notes that the number of crime-related transactions increased for the second straight year, reaching a record $20.6 billion. Nonetheless, this represents a tiny portion of the crypto market's volume: less than 1%.

2022 was the most prolific year for crypto thieves. According to Chainalysis, over $3.8 billion, more than any other year, was stolen from a variety of services and protocols, including $775,7 million in October alone. Concurrently, the total revenue of scammers and ransomware hackers decreased, according to the report.

82.1% of all stolen funds originated through DeFi protocols, particularly cross-chain bridges – protocols that enable users to swap assets between two blockchains. "Bridges are an attractive target for hackers because the smart contracts in effect become huge, centralized repositories of funds backing the assets that have been bridged to the new chain — a more desirable honeypot could scarcely be imagined," the paper states. 

According to Chainalysis, an emerging trend in DeFi hacks is oracle manipulation, which occurs when an attacker compromises the processes by which a decentralized protocol obtains a price for traded assets and provides ideal conditions for rapid and highly profitable trades. In 2022, 41 different oracle manipulation attacks cost DeFi protocols $386,2 million, according to the research.

The alleged perpetrator of an attack on Mango Markets, Avraham Eisenberg, was arrested and is now facing commodity manipulation charges in U.S. court.

In 2022, the Lazarus group of North Korean hackers surpassed their previous record of $1.7 billion stolen from many victims. The majority of the funds were transmitted to decentralized exchanges and multiple mixers, including Tornado Cash,, and, following Blender's collapse, Sinbad. Elliptic, a blockchain intelligence firm, previously speculated that Sinbad may have been created by the same team that developed Blender.



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