What are the Biggest Cryptocurrency Hacks of All Time?


As Bitcoin and other altcoins continue their climb, many in the community are excited about the future of the industry.

While the market hit an all-time high in January of 2018, it was followed by a slide that many labeled “Crypto Winter.” A drop in value, however, isn’t the only problem that has plagued cryptocurrencies. There are have been other bumps along the way.

One significant area of concern is that of hacking. Network security is an area of importance for all involved in the world of crypto, however, keeping exchanges and data protected is proving to be a challenge.

It seems every few months a new hack occurs, making blockchain technology appear vulnerable and imperfect.

Here’s our list of the biggest cryptocurrency hacks of all time.

4 Biggest Cryptocurrency Hacks of All Time

What are the Biggest Cryptocurrency Hacks of All Time

1# Coincheck

The honor of being the largest cryptocurrency hack every goes to Coincheck. This Japanese exchange lost over half a billion to cybercriminals, with the final count totaling $534 million. Occurring on January 26, 2018, Coincheck shared that 523 million NEM coins were stolen.

Since that time, Coincheck has compensated all 260,000 users who were impacted by the hack. Due to the immense nature of the Coincheck hack, many exchanges made immediate changes to their security systems and platform framework.

2# Mt. Gox

When you talk about cryptocurrency hacks, it’s nearly impossible not to discuss Mt. Gox. This high-profile hack took place in 2014.

The uniqueness of the Mt. Gox hack was that it didn’t happen all at once. Hackers skimmed from the site for several years, getting away with 850,000 Bitcoin, valued at $460,000. Today, it would be worth roughly $6.8 billion.

The primary issue with Mt. Gox was its lack of security development. The exchange neglected to implement version control software, which allowed one developer to overwrite another if they happened to be accessing the same file at the same time.

There were also examples of untested software used on live customers, which is poor practice for a company which at the time controlled over 70% of trading volume.

Unfortunately, the exchange had no recourse but to go bankrupt, which it did in February 2014.

3# Bitfinex

Next on the list is Bitfinex. At the time of its hack – August 2016 – almost 120,000 Bitcoin were stolen from users on the platform. At the time, the total loss came in around $72 million. Today, that number is closer to $960 million.

An interesting aspect of the Bitfinex hack was that it impacted multisig accounts, which many view as safer than typical digital wallets. Somehow, hackers were able to access the keys needed for these accounts and withdrew Bitcoin to an unknown wallet address.

Since the hack occurred, Bitfinex has refused to take responsibility or offer compensation to those who were victims of the hack.

4# NiceHash

The NiceHash mining service, which gave users the ability to rent out their hashing power to buyers, was hacked in December of 2017. More than 4,000 Bitcoin were stolen from the company, totaling $63 million at the time the hack took place.

The company CEO resigned at the time, however, NiceHash was back up and running just a few weeks later. It does recommend that all users regularly change their password. The challenge with NiceHash is that it is a service-oriented site, so it’s difficult to keep tabs on all its members.

Find a Site You Trust

There are many sites out there that involve using Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in one form or another. It’s difficult to find a more important feature for these sites than their security.

The last thing you want is for your personal information and funds leaked or hacked. That’s why it’s important to find a site that’s safe and secure. 

Sites including TotalCrypto.io and others provide information to cryptocurrency enthusiasts to guide them towards an informed decision. The bottom line is; do your own research and your chances of being compromised will be significantly lower.

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Author: Claire Ward