The appeal of crypto has grown, the latest cryptocurrency news show. This has presented a lot of opportunities for scammers to part naive investors from their money. This year has been no exception as many cryptocurrency and blockchain experts named it “the year of the exit scam.” This is why today, we are listing the biggest crypto heists that have been discovered by various researchers.
But before we do that, let’s give you our two cents on spotting an exit scam.
Most of the biggest crypto heists and exit scams have tell-tale signs that investors should look out for. First, they have inconsistent or misleading information behind the project. Second, they usually fake online credibility. And most important, you should always check for user reviews before investing in any form of crypto.
Now, let’s list the biggest crypto heists done so far:
- $2.9 Billion Plustoken Scam That Could Be Largest Scam Ever
We are starting the list with a famous case. An estimated loss of around $2.9 billion was identified after Chinese police uncovered an alleged Ponzi scheme involving the South Korean wallet provider and exchange PlusToken. Although more is being uncovered about PlusToken, the mystery is all around the key events and there is analysis in the altcoin news about the case.
- Pincoin’s Case Which Scalped Investors Out Of An Alleged $660 Million In Tokens
On April 9 last year, two ICOs including iFan and Pincoin were operating under the umbrella of one tech company based in Vietnam. They both went silent after reports showed that 32,000 investors were scalped out of an alleged $660 million in tokens, as Tuoi Tre News reported.
Victims are still featured on the best cryptocurrency news sites, claiming the damages amount to roughly 15 trillion Vietnamese dong ($660 million) in token sales. This makes the Pincoin case one of the biggest crypto heists ever.
- QuadrigaCX Made Investors Lose $195 Million In Crypto
The death of the 30-year old CEO of the exchange QuadrigaCX shook the crypto world – not only because he was the head of the largest exchange in Canada – but also because he had full control of the passwords and keys to accounts rendered all the assets on the exchange forever inaccessible. The losses amounted to more than $195 million of stolen cryptocurrency, which makes QuadrigaCX one of the biggest crypto scams too. However, the death of the CEO is still a mystery and there is an ongoing investigation by the FBI on the entire case.
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Chinese Exchange Fcoin Closes, Still Owes Users $125 Million
“This is a problem that is a little too complicated to be explained in a single sentence, the time span is also large, and the two story development lines are advancing and affecting each other at the same time, leading to the final outcome.”The Chinese exchange Fcoin is now in the cryptonews. After its launch in May, the reported trading volumes became some of the biggest in the world overnight thanks to a new business model called "transaction mining." Later on, one Reddit user reported that this volume was actually fake - which is when the problems started. The exchange was later on described as a scam by many and the suspicions about its business model turned out true. There was no airdrop nor ICO at launch and the Chinese exchange Fcoin distributed 51% of its native tokens to users for reimbursing transaction fees. The CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, has publicly called FCoin a Ponzi scheme since the middle of 2018, commenting on Zhang's post in a tweet which read:
“I rarely called out anyone, with exceptions. On Chinese social media, I called FCoin a pyramid scheme in mid-2018. Their founder calls his own plan a "better invention than #Bitcoin". That did it for me. Who would say such a thing? About themselves? Except scammers.”https://twitter.com/cz_binance/status/1229446449152348161 To this, Zhang replied saying that there have been some errors which the Chinese exchange FCoin detected - but did not explain why it failed to address such problems before it is too late.
‘With the deepening of the investigation, we found a large number of existing data problems of dividends and mining returns, and these problems have existed for many days. As a result, a large number of users have already been through operations such as buying and selling various currencies and withdrawing cash, causing the pollution of assets.”The platform was suspended a few days ago by its own account for risk control, which caused a lot of speculation that the project was shutting down and the operators are vanishing. In the last few sentences on his blog post, however, Zhang said that he will do everything to give back the money to users via email personally - and compensate FCoin user losses with the profits he would make from other projects.
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Altsbit Crypto Exchange Suffers Hack Attack, Lost 95% Of Funds
‘’Unfortunately, we have to notify you with the fact that our exchange was hacked during the night and almost all funds from BTC, ETH, ARRR and VRSC were stolen. A small part of the funds are safe on cold wallets.’’From the announcement, it seems that Altbits had almost all of the funds on the hot wallets despite their major vulnerability to malicious cyber intrusions. The Italian crypto exchange will provide a full report on the lost funds soon and we will be able to see exactly how big of damage the theft made. In the follow-up tweets of the exchange, however, can be seen that the hackers stole 1,066 Komodo tokens and 283,375 Verus coins. This combined the value of both stolen cryptos stands at about $27,000. At press time, Altsbit had a 24-hour trading volume of $14.8 million with 98% of its trading activity coming from the ARRR/BTC pair which is the native token of the pirate Chain. Reacting to the news of the hack, some of the supporters of decentralized exchanges noted the vulnerabilities of the platforms that are centralized. However, centralized platforms still command the grater trading volume as the DEX services have a notoriously hard way of navigating the user interfaces. As for the security situation with centralized crypto exchange platforms, the 2020 crypto crime reports by Chainlink show that the exchanges seem to be better equipped to deal with the hackers. Despite the increase in the number of hack attacks, the blockchain analysis firm explained that the total amount of stolen funds in the hacks declined dramatically from the previous year. One of the important strategies that exchanges use is to limit their hot wallet holdings and this will show any inside involvement since the hackers are less sable to drain the vast crypto sums from vulnerable hot wallets. The North Korean hack group Lazarus, is suspected of being behind most of the crypto exchanges in the Asian Pacific and now it seems that it is changing its attack vectors. The group utilizes phishing malware on popular messaging platforms such as Telegram.
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