Loved worldwide, Bitcoin was first introduced in January 2009. From there only cryptocurrency came into the picture and is slowly and steadily gaining popularity all over the world. Fast forward to 2021, crypto trading has become a rewarding investment alternative for individuals and also promotes the growth of the economy. But unfortunately, cryptocurrencies have failed to become the mainstream.
Over a decade is a long time in technology. But under this time frame, cryptocurrencies haven’t even reached halfway. While there are many reasons but the most renowned downside of crypto trading is its vulnerability to hacking. Recent breaking news of crypto heists has highlighted this major flaw of these cherished virtual currencies. No doubt, hackers have become more tech-savvy and determined in their attacks.
There have been major security breaches in the past few years. Hackers easily swindled around a total of $2021 million in these attacks. Check out some of the most recognized and major cyber thefts that left a long-lasting impression in the crypto world.
Allinvain – 2011
The first crypto hack happened in the year 2011. Back in that year, the crypto market was still budding and only a few crypto lovers knew about Bitcoin. It was on June 13 in the same year that ‘allinvain’, a member of Slush Pool – the world’s first Bitcoin mining pool wrote a message on the Bitcoin Talk forum highlighting the first biggest crypto hack in history.
The forum post mentioned that the attacker hacked the user’s Slush Pool account and looted around 25,000 Bitcoins. These BTC were around $480,000 even at that time. If estimated today, they are worth $279 million approximately.
Mt. Gox – 2011 and 2014
The crypto world saw the most popular and largest hack of all time in February 2014. 850,000 Bitcoins disappeared in the Mt. Gox hack. Although this was not the first time that Mt. Gox met this fate. In March 2011 also the exchange encountered its first attack. 80,000 BTC were looted when the 8-month old exchange was going through a change in ownership.
Even after the loot, Mt. Gox managed to sustain itself in the market. The exchange was managing about 70% of all Bitcoin transactions all over the world by 2014. But February 2014 came as a nightmare for the exchange. The firm suddenly froze all BTC withdrawals and within no time declared that they lost a whopping count of 850,000 bitcoins that at that time were around $350 million. It seemed that hackers had been regularly withdrawing money from customers’ wallets since 2011.
Through the firm eventually recovered 200,000 bitcoins but they couldn’t gain back fame and the trust of their customers.
Bitfinex – 2016
A popular bitcoin exchange Bitfinex had to lose $77 million (value at that time) in BTC in a hack that occurred in August 2016. The hacking brothers supposedly created clones of major cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets and then sent them to phishing sites. It’s sarcastic that this was a multi-sig hack since multi-sig is expected to make a wallet safer.
Coincheck – 2018
Japan-based crypto exchange Coincheck became the target of crypto hackers on January 26, 2018. Attackers managed to steal the relatively lesser-known cryptocurrency NEM that was worth $530 million at that time. Surpassing the notorious Mt. Gox hack, this made the attack the largest digital heist in history.
KuCoin – 2020
Next on the list is the KuCoin hack which fell out in the year 2020. Korean hackers allegedly lifted $281 million from the Seychelles-based exchange.
PolyNetwork Hack – 2021
Moving forward to 2021, even this year also confronted a massive crypto attack that startled many in August. The biggest crypto heist recorded a whopping amount of $610 million being hacked from a DeFi platform PolyNetwork. However, the attackers returned all the assets soon.
Japan’s Liquid Exchange – 2021
Shortly after the PolyNetwork Hack, there was a major security breach on August 19, 2021, in Japan’s Liquid Exchange. The digital hack was worth $97 million.
These were the major crypto heists that took the crypto world to storm. Besides these, there were many other hacks that took place in history but these were definitely more impactful than others.