Assets, Bitcoin

How Much Bitcoin Has Been Stolen?

As the world’s first and most well-known cryptocurrency, Bitcoin has been the Target of theft and fraud since its inception. To date, an estimated $1.75 billion worth of Bitcoin has been stolen, making it the most valuable form of cryptocurrency currently in circulation.

The majority of these thefts have occurred through hacking of exchanges and wallets, but scams and hacks are not the only ways that Bitcoin can be stolen. In this article, we will explore the various ways that Bitcoin can be stolen, as well as some notable cases of Bitcoin theft that have made headlines in recent years.

One of the most common ways that Bitcoin is stolen is through hacking of exchanges. In 2018, Japanese exchange Coincheck was hacked for $534 million worth of NEM tokens, and Mt.

Gox, once the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange, was famously hacked in 2014 for 850,000 BTC (worth over $4 billion at today’s prices). These hacks usually involve the theft of private keys from the exchange’s hot wallet (a wallet that is connected to the internet), which can then be used to transfer the funds out of the exchange.

Another common way that Bitcoin is stolen is through phishing scams. In a phishing scam, a hacker will send an email or message that appears to be from a legitimate source (such as an exchange or wallet provider), but which actually contains a link to a fake website designed to steal your private keys or login credentials.

Once the hacker has your private keys or login credentials, they can then access your account and steal your funds.

NOTE: WARNING: Bitcoin theft is a serious problem. Criminals have stolen large amounts of Bitcoin from individuals, exchanges, and other entities. If you store or use Bitcoin, it is important to take the necessary steps to protect yourself from theft. This includes using strong passwords and two-factor authentication, keeping your private keys secure, and only using reliable exchanges or wallets.

Perhaps the most famous case of Bitcoin theft occurred in 2016, when 120,000 BTC (worth over $700 million at today’s prices) was stolen from Bitfinex, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. The theft was accomplished by hacking into Bitfinex’s hot wallet and transferring the funds out of the exchange.

Bitfinex has since reimbursed its customers for their losses, but this hack highlights the fact that even the biggest and most well-protected exchanges are not immune to attack.

While hacking and scams are by far the most common ways that Bitcoin is stolen, they are not the only ways. Physical robbery is also a risk for people who hold large amounts of Bitcoin; in December 2015, for example, an Israeli man was robbed at gunpoint for his Bitcoin holdings.

And in July 2017, $28 million worth of Ethereum was stolen from three different ICO projects after hackers gained access to their wallets.

While there is no sure way to prevent your Bitcoin from being stolen (especially if you are holding it on an exchange), there are some steps you can take to minimize your risk. First and foremost, do not store any more Bitcoin than you need to on an exchange or online wallet; if possible, store your BTC offline in a paper wallet or hardware wallet.

Additionally, make sure to use strong passwords and 2-factor authentication whenever possible; these measures will make it much harder for hackers to gain access to your accounts. Finally, always be aware of phishing scams and never click on links sent from unknown sources; if you think an email or message may be fake, contact the company it purports to be from directly to confirm before clicking any links.

In conclusion, while no one can guarantee that their Bitcoin will never be stolen, taking some basic precautions can go a long way towards keeping your funds safe. By storing your BTC offline in a paper or hardware wallet and being careful about which links you click on online, you can help protect yourself against many common forms of theft.

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