A Decade of Cryptocurrency ‘Hacks’: 2011 – 2021

22 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2021 Last revised: 29 Nov 2022

See all articles by Ben Charoenwong

Ben Charoenwong

National University of Singapore - Department of Finance; Chicago Global

Mario Bernardi

Business School, National University of Singapore

Date Written: October 1, 2021

Abstract

We survey large-scale cryptocurrency thefts over the past decade, estimating the total value of stolen cryptocurrencies. We find that depending on the timing of when the cryptocurrency was converted to fiat, the stolen amounts are valued between $7 to $88 billion, with longer cryptocurrency holding periods corresponding to the larger estimate due to the market’s rising value. We also document that as the cryptocurrency market develops, the incidence of large-scale cryptocurrency thefts has also increased in both number and stolen values in recent years. Large-scale thefts can be attributed to security breaches accounting for 20 of the 30 thefts, human errors accounting for 5, and agency problems arising from insider thefts accounting for the remaining 5.

Keywords: theft, DeFi, misconduct, crypto, fintech

JEL Classification: G23, G32, G15

Suggested Citation

Charoenwong, Ben and Bernardi, Mario, A Decade of Cryptocurrency ‘Hacks’: 2011 – 2021 (October 1, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3944435 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3944435

Ben Charoenwong (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore - Department of Finance ( email )

Mochtar Riady Building
15 Kent Ridge Drive
Singapore, 119245
Singapore

HOME PAGE: http://bizfaculty.nus.edu/faculty-profiles/519-ben

Chicago Global ( email )

67 AYER RAJAH CRESCENT, #02-10/17, Singapore
Singapore, 139950
Singapore

HOME PAGE: http://chicago.global

Mario Bernardi

Business School, National University of Singapore ( email )

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Downloads
976
Abstract Views
2,307
Rank
43,883
PlumX Metrics