The news of Binance hack has taken the crypto industry by storm. Though it turns out that a massive $40 million worth of Bitcoin doesn’t even register this heist among the worst, check out the 5 biggest exchange hacks in the cryptocurrency industry.
Top 5 Exchange Hacks in Crypto History
Binance hack comes in a measly 6th place. Undoubtedly, the world’s biggest crypto exchange will recover this stinging loss.
The hacker only targeted Binance’s hot wallet that holds about 2% of all the exchange’s Bitcoin. In fact, Changpeng Zhao is dependably chalking it up to a “lesson learned” (though an expensive one).
cons: 4 While it is a very expensive lesson for us, it is nevertheless a lesson. it was our responsibility to safe guard user funds.
We should own up it. We will learn and improve.
As always, thank you for your support!
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) May 8, 2019
But, it could have been even worse. Just ask Coincheck, the Japanese cryptocurrency exchange that still takes first place in the biggest crypto exchange hacks in the history.
1. Coincheck (January 2018).
According to CipherTrace, as far as exchange hacks are concerned, 2018 eclipsed all other years with Coincheck leading the path. To kickstart the year, Coincheck was hit by hackers stealing more than 500 million NEM cryptocurrency that worth around $530 million.
NEM stuck the blame on Coincheck’s ‘relaxed security measures,’ even though it was only its cryptocurrency XEM that was stolen. No hard fork was done, and Coincheck retains the top place in the list of historical cryptocurrency exchange hacks.
2. Mt. Gox (February 2014)
The Mt. Gox hack, eclipsed in the dollar amount stolen, is still the most infamous exchange hack of all time. In fact, it is still the largest Bitcoin heist with an eye-watering 850,000 BTC stolen by hackers.
Until the beginning of 2014, Mt. Gox handled about 70% of all the world’s BTC transactions. By February of the same year, it was declaring bankruptcy.
3. BitGrail (February 2018)
BitGrail lost some 17 million Nano tokens which worth around $170 million. It is the 3rd biggest crypto exchange hack in history.
While the hack came into light in 2018, the plot around the story soon started thickening as users became aware that the exchange had been targeted previously and was known as insolvent for several months prior.
Furthermore, Francesco Firano, BitGrail owner, tried to place the blame on Nano, while requesting a hard fork for recuperating the funds. This was refused, and the blame was laid squarely on BitGrail. In 2019, a court ordered Francesco Firano to return the missing funds to BitGrail customers.
4. Bitfinex (August 2016)
Controversy over Tether and one of the largest ever crypto exchange hacks in history, it’s no less than a miracle that Bitfinex is still standing. The hack happened in August 2016, when more than 120,000 bitcoins were snatched by hackers causing the value of BTC to plummet within hours of the attack.
However, users were compensated in the form of BFX tokens.
5. Zaif (September 2018)
Losing nearly $60 million in digital currencies like BTC, BCH, and MonaCoin, Zaif was the 2nd major Japanese cryptocurrency exchange to lose funds after Coincheck earlier in 2018, which led to Japan’s FSA to investigate the incident.
Later on, they found out the much of the stolen funds were traded on cryptocurrency exchanges including Huobi and Binance. Hackers did this by creating hundreds of accounts and depositing just 2 BTC in them all, thus for triggering Binance’s AML red flags.
Refrain from Keeping Your Funds on an Exchange
Now, we are watching history repeating itself time and again. Hackers already stole more than $356 million from cryptocurrency exchange in Q1, 2019.
The Binance attack is just another in a never-ending security breach that’s been waiting to happen, and the moral of the story is always the same.
Don’t put your money on an exchange! If you do, then you are putting your digital money at risk.