Throughout the first quarter of 2019, losses from the theft of cryptocurrencies from exchanges and fraud-related activities, unfortunately, saw a massive surge to $1.2 billion. This surmounts to seventy percent of the level for the whole of 2018.
This data comes from the CipherTrace cybersecurity firm who revealed the numbers earlier this week on Tuesday.
The value of losses from crime in the crypto space in 2018 reached $1.7 billion. However, cryptocurrency crime has gone up massively as the market has slowed down with the prices plummeting at the end of 2018.
The theft of cryptocurrencies summed up to a total of $356 million in the first quarter, while losses from fraud or misappropriated funds amount to $851 million, the respected US-based CipherTrace reports.
The cybersecurity firm has said that it included losses at the Quadriga exchange where around $134 million have been frozen in user accounts following the unexpected death of the founder, who was the only person with password access.
CipherTrace chief executive officer Dave Jevans has said:
“Crypto crime has gotten worse because regulations are still weakly enforced. Europe broadly has not implemented its regulations yet and the cyber criminal community continues to grow.
I would also add that insider issues such as fraud or theft have grown mostly due to operations outside of the U.S. where regulations are poor, or simply due to greed and mismanagement by young management teams at these cryptocurrency companies that are managing hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars.”
As well as the CEO, Jevans is also the chairman of the Anti-Phishing working group who is an organisation that aims to help fix cyber crimes.
As reported by Reuters:
“The CipherTrace report also said there was a major gap in the current cryptocurrency regulatory environment with respect to cross-border payments from U.S. exchanges to offshore exchanges, which are beyond the purview of U.S. authorities.”
An analysis of 164 million Bitcoin transactions shows that cross-border to offshore exchanges have grown by almost half over the last two years. This contributes to the $8.7 trillion, or 11.5 percent of the globe’s wealth, hidden offshore according to the report.