Cryptos Wild Ride: The Scams, Hacks, and Rug Pulls of 2022

December 24th, 2022

partial computer screen with the words you got hacked typed out

The Great Crypto Robbery of 2022

The year 2022 saw a decrease in overall cryptocurrency scam revenue compared to 2021, but several notable scams still occurred. The total revenue from cryptocurrency scams in 2022 was $4.3 billion, a 100% increase compared to the same period in 2021. The collapse of FTX was the most significant individual contributor to money lost, with an estimated $1 to $2 billion worth of cryptocurrency.

DeFi Debacles and Blockchain Bandits Stay at It

In 2022, threat actors targeted Defi protocols, exchange platforms, and blockchain bridges to carry out cryptocurrency hacks and scams. Defi protocols accounted for 97% of all stolen cryptocurrency in 2022. Cross-chain bridge breaches alone resulted in a loss of $1.4 billion this year. Solidus Labs reported that 12% of all BEP-20 tokens were linked to scams, with Binance's BNB Chain experiencing the most. Notable hacks in 2022 include those at, Qubit Finance, Wormhole protocol, IRA Financial Trust, Axie Infinity's Ronin Network, and more.

Fool Me Once: The 2022 Crypto Exit Scam Roundup

In 2022, we experienced many exit scams and rug pulls in the cryptocurrency industry. This type of scam involves a project or initiative raising funds by promising substantial returns for investors, only for the scammer to abandon the project and take the funds. In 2022, more than 188,000 rug pulls were on various blockchains, such as BNB and Ethereum. Solidus Labs has reported a 20% increase in crypto scams compared to 2021, with rug pulls accounting for a larger share.

Loan Sharks of the Crypto World: Flash Loan Scams in 2022

Flash loans are a type of loan that allows crypto users to borrow digital assets without collateral, and usually, the loan is paid back in the same transaction block. However, scammers have been using flash loans for malicious purposes, such as buying all governance tokens in a project, allowing them to withdraw all the funds since they have the most significant vote. Scammers can also use flash loans to manipulate the value of crypto exchanges and tokens. In Q2 2022, 27 flash loan attacks resulted in a loss of over $308 million.

Crypto-heartbreak: The Rise of Pig Butchering Scams in 2022

In 2022, a new type of cryptocurrency scam emerged, known as "pig butchering" or "romance scams," which is expected to rise in frequency. This scam involves con artists using dating or social media apps to manipulate their victims into investing in fake crypto projects. As a result, victims lose significant amounts of money or cryptocurrency. According to data from the US, in Q1 2022 alone, people lost $185 million worth of crypto to these scams.

2022 was filled with various cryptocurrency scams, with total revenue reaching over $5 billion. From hacks on Defi protocols and exchange platforms to exit scams and rug pulls to flash loan attacks and romance scams, it's clear that the crypto community had its fair share of challenges in the past year. As we move into 2023, let's hope for a much better and scam-free year for the crypto community. But let's be real, let's hope for a year with fewer scams.

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