Cryptocurrencies stolen from exchanges and scammed from investors surged more than 400% in 2018 to around $1.7b, according to a report from CipherTrace.
Korea and Japan were home to most of the thefts from exchanges, or 58 percent, throughout 2018. The numbers on crypto theft surprised many observers given the price declines in digital currencies in 2018. The market capitalization with more than 1,600 digital currencies was $112 billion in January, 2019, down more than 80 percent from its peak a year earlier. In addition to those thefts, the research found that investors and exchange users lost about $725 million in cryptocurrency in 2018 to exit scams such as fraudulent initial coin offerings, phony exchange hacks, and Ponzi schemes.