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Cryptocurrency scammers stole $ 7.7 billion in 2021, which is more than 80% more than the amount of thefts in 2020
In 2021, scammers were able to steal $ 7.7 billion worth of cryptocurrency, according to a report by the analytical company Chainalysis. According to the published data, a third of thefts fell on rug pull schemes, when scammers create an imaginary cryptocurrency and then hide with investors’ money.
In addition, the activity of fraudsters has increased significantly compared to 2020. Thus, the amount of money stolen in 2021 exceeds the figure for 2020 by more than 80%. However, the volume is still below the record 2019. Then the scammers were able to “earn” almost $ 10 billion.
As stated in Chainalysis, the increase in theft in 2021 is mainly due to the billionth Russian Ponzi pyramid called Finiko. According to preliminary estimates, scammers from Kazan were able to earn more than $ 1.1 billion.
Cryptocurrency exchanges remain the key destination of stolen cryptocurrencies. The share of centralized exchanges not only has not decreased over the past couple of years, but has grown altogether. However, Chainalysis does not specify which exchanges received the most stolen cryptocurrency.
At the same time, the period of activity of the fraudulent scheme has been significantly reduced. For example, if from 2013 to 2016 it took fraudsters from 500 to ~ 2300 days to develop a scheme, then starting from 2017 it takes less than 500 days to develop a scheme. The record was reached in 2021, when on average it took fraudsters only 70 days to complete a financial scam.
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