Crypto has proven extremely beneficial to investors all around the world that want a quick and safe method of money transfer. Cryptocurrency, on the other hand, is a target for hackers due to its method of exchange and the fact that it is unregulated.
However, it’s important to know that engaging in the Cryptocurrency trading involves big risks. Hacks, frauds, and abusive practices have plagued the Cryptocurrency market over the years. Holders who fail to take the necessary precautions can possibly lose everything.
12 Biggest Crypto Exchange Hacks In History
This article looks at the 12 biggest crypto exchange hacks in history:
1. Mt. Gox
At its peak in 2013 and 2014, Mt. Gox controlled over 70% of all Bitcoin transactions before going bankrupt. The exchange was hacked for the first time in March 2011, when 80,000 Bitcoins were stolen while the exchange was through a change of ownership. Almost 850,000 bitcoins ($615 million) were stolen. They were able to do so by flooding the exchange with a large number of fake bitcoins. This was one of the first big security breaches in the cryptocurrency world.
Coincheck, a Japanese crypto exchange, was formed in 2012 and is ranked as one of the top 20 exchanges in the world. The exchange supports all type of cryptocurrencies and tokens, including bitcoin and Ethereum. Hackers broke into the exchange in January 2018 and stole $534 million worth of cryptocurrency. This was confirmed as the biggest hack in history. Coincheck suspended all deposits and withdrawals as soon as the hack was discovered. The damage, however, had already been done, and the exchange said that it might not be able to compensate its users for their losses.
Bitfinex is a cryptocurrency exchange based in Hong Kong that was created in 2012. It is owned by iFinex Inc., a company that also developed the Tether stablecoin. In 2016, hackers were able to hack into the crypto exchange and stole coins valued more than $77 million.
Bitfinex is still operating, but there are serious doubts regarding its credibility. Bitfinex is a “opaque organization that provides no information on its website about where it is or who operates the company,” according to the New York Times.
Upbit is a cryptocurrency trading platform that was established in 2017. Despite the fact that the exchange is established in South Korea, it has gained popularity all over the world. In fact, in terms of daily transactions, it became the world’s largest crypto exchange in 2018.
However, the exchange was attacked by a major cyber attack in November 2019. In a single transaction, the hackers were able to breach into the exchange and steal approximately $45 million.
NiceHash is a mining company that lets people use their extra GPU power to mine cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. On December 6, 2017 hackers with IP addresses outside of Europe accessed the Slovenia-based startup’s computers and obtained an engineer’s credentials from Nicehash . They were able do so because they compromised payment methods using bitcoins in order steal all money stored on this particular wallet.
KuCoin is a Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange. It was launched in 2013 and trades Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ardor, along with many other cryptocurrencies. It was hacked in September 2020, and hackers were able to steal about $281 million worth of coins and tokens.
Cryptopia was a cryptocurrency exchange based in Christchurch, New Zealand, that was created in 2014. The exchange was attacked by a major attack in January 2019, leading to huge loss of $15.5 million. The management claimed that the attack had taken roughly 9% of the company’s overall assets. The attack was so serious that the exchange had to be shut down completely.
Binance is one of the most well-known cryptocurrency exchanges. The exchange is based in the Cayman Islands and is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world (by volume). The exchange supports over 360 coins and trades over 1200 markets.
Binance also claims to have created a whole ecosystem of cryptocurrency transactions, research, training, and charity. However, in May of this year, the exchange was affected by a massive security breach.
Over 7000 bitcoins were stolen from the hot wallet by the hackers. The attack resulted in a total loss of almost $40 million. The attackers were able to breach into the exchange’s security systems and access sensitive data such as two-factor codes, APIs, and other information.
Surprisingly, all of the missing bitcoins were traced back to a single digital wallet. The exchange has stated that all losses will be covered by its secure asset fund for users (SAFU).
CoinBene is a crypto exchange based in Singapore that is managed by Chinese employees. It is regarded as one of the top ten crypto exchanges in the world in terms of trading volume.
Cybercriminals hacked CoinBene in March 2019 and made off with more than $105 million in cryptocurrency. Instead of acknowledging that the attack had occurred, the exchange announced that it was closing down for maintenance.
Bancor is an Israeli start-up that was established in 2016. It is primarily a crypto company that provides its users with a fully decentralized trading service. In 2017, the company raised $150 million in an initial coin offering (ICO).
However, it was hit by a major attack in 2018, resulting in total loss of $23.5 million. In order to carry out the crime, the hackers used a sophisticated technique. They specifically targeted a wallet that the company was using to upgrade its smart contracts.
Zaif is one of Japan’s oldest cryptocurrency exchanges. It was the first exchange in Japan to obtain an official license in 2014, and it has been in operation since then. Hackers gained access to the exchange’s hot wallets in September 2018, causing a major breach.
Zaif didn’t notice the hack until three days later, despite the fact that it happened on September 14. The total loss were estimated to be over $60 million.
Attackers stole 24,000 bitcoins, that were worth roughly $240,000 at the time. Because Bitfloor lacked $250,000 in reserves, the hack effectively bankrupted the company.
Bitfloor reopened a few weeks later, expecting to recover enough fees from it’s customers. However, the effort was in vain, and Bitfloor shut its doors permanently in April 2013, leaving plenty of unhappy users in its wake.