2019 seems to be a good year for cryptocurrency criminals. According to a report from CipherTrace, victims have lost $4.4 Billion in cryptocurrency in the first three quarters of the year.
Compared to the whole of last year, this represents a 150 percent uptick on the money lost. In 2018, only $1.7 Billion was lost due to cryptocurrency crimes. But in 2019, these figures may even go higher since the report has only covered the first nine months of the year.
“The 150% increase in crypto theft and fraud reflects how criminals are adapting for bigger and better scores,” Dave Jevans CipherTrace CEO said in a statement.
“Criminals chase money and the money is right here and ripe for the taking. Little attacks are often easy to defend against, but targeted attacks are far more lucrative,” he added.
One of the two most notorious crimes this year in digital currency involved PlusToken and QuadrigaCX. PlusToken, a South Korean linked Ponzi scheme, got away with approximately $2.9 billion in digital currency.
On the other hand, QuadrigaCX a cryptocurrency exchange from Canada went silent with the victim’s money after the company’s CEO passed away, taking with him the company’s wallet private keys and $192 million.
Despite the figure now standing tall as compared to the previous years, most of the money lost in cryptocurrency crimes happened in the first half of the year. At the end of Q2, CipherTrace’s report noted that $4.26 billion had been lost already to scammers.
However, the company also noted that Q3 2019 recorded the lowest quarterly figures in two years.