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$1.3 Billion in Crypto Stolen in Q1 2022, Much of it from DeFi

According to a research report, $1.3 billion in digital currency was stolen (Crypto Stolen) in the first quarter of 2022. The study, published by cryptomonday.de researchers, further highlights that 97% of the numbers are stolen. The stolen funds are derived from the mining of the decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol.

The year 2022 broke the record for the number of cryptocurrencies stolen from hacks and mining. Last year, $3.2 billion in digital currency was stolen, 2022 recorded more than 40% of the total of 2021 in the first quarter alone.

Total amount of assets stolen in Q1 2022
Total amount of assets stolen in Q1 2022

Of the $1.3 billion in cryptocurrencies stolen this year, 97% of the funds were taken from defi protocols. In Q1 2021, only 72% of the stolen funds originated from DeFi, and in 2020 the figure is as low as 30%. Furthermore, most thefts in 2022 came from exploiting faulty code where smart contracts were used to extract stolen funds from defi protocols. The author says that since the defi environment is open source, anyone can look for vulnerabilities.

The study further details that in previous years, centralized exchanges were common but attacks on centralized trading platforms were not much, accounting for only 15% of total stolen funds. Most of the common defi protocol attacks occurred in the form of flash loan attacks and security breaches, notably the Ronin bridge attack, which caused more than $600 million in damage.

Hackers and cybercriminals made more than $3.2 billion last year, and they are likely to steal a higher amount this year, if the first quarter goes well. The need for tighter security measures is increasing, especially as more and more people enter the market,” explained Jonathan Merry, CEO of Cryptomonday in a statement.