Crypto hacks wiped out nearly $20b from industry, Crystal Intelligence estimates

While 2023 recorded the highest number of crypto thefts annually, 2022 remains the costliest year by value, with 199 incidents totaling nearly $42 billion, according to Crystal Intelligence.

Crypto scams and hacks left the industry without nearly $19 billion worth of assets, with the U.S. recording the highest number of incidents, according to data from Crystal Intelligence shared with

“Possibly the most striking aspect of crypto crime developments, now in their teens, which Crystal has observed is the rate at which new criminal typologies emerge, fresh law enforcement technologies and techniques are implemented to combat them, and the process recycles itself.”

Crystal Intelligence

The report indicates that almost 200 thefts worth $9.7 billion targeted 55 countries around the world, with the U.S. recording almost $984 million worth of stolen funds in crypto, followed by Hong Kong with 15 incidents worth just under $1.2 billion.

Crypto hacks wiped out nearly $20b from industry, Crystal Intelligence estimates - 1
Crypto thefts by countries | Source: Crystal Intelligence

Since 2011, the industry has seen around 785 reported crypto theft incidents, including 220 security breaches, 345 hacks of decentralized protocols, and 220 fraud scams, with the total stolen amount reaching $19 billion. However, the report notes that the data is based on reported losses only, suggesting that the real scale of unreported incidents could be way larger.

In mid-May, blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis revealed that in 2023, nearly 75% of funds stolen via crypto drainers were funneled into decentralized finance, a stark contrast to 2020, where over 90% ended up in centralized exchanges. The real scale of phishing activity remains unclear, Chainalysis acknowledged, citing the difficulty in tracking the total amounts stolen by drainers “given that many crypto drainer scams are not reported.”

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