The Biggest Incidents in the Crypto World

Published Categorized as Guide

Cryptocurrency heists, a modern-day digital banditry, have a certain allure that captures the public’s imagination. It’s not just about the staggering sums involved but the mystique surrounding the thefts. In this article, we embark on a journey through some of the most significant crypto heists, where fortunes were pilfered, and the digital landscape was forever altered.

1. Poly Network: A Bizarre Twist in Crypto Theft

In August 2021, a hacker, dubbed “Mr. White Hat,” made off with a colossal 600 million USD from Poly Network, a decentralized finance (DeFi) platform. The story took a peculiar turn when the thief not only engaged in public discourse with Poly Network but returned the stolen funds. Was it a PR stunt, or a genuine effort to contribute to Poly’s security?

2. Coincheck: The Unseen Russian Hand

In January 2018, Japanese exchange Coincheck suffered a massive hack, losing 532 million USD in NEM. Initially blamed on North Korea, the attack’s origins were later linked to Russia. Despite the setback, Coincheck managed to recover, but the incident prompted Japan’s financial regulator to tighten its grip on crypto exchanges.

3. Mt. Gox: An Epic Collapse

The infamous Mt. Gox hack shook the crypto world. With vulnerabilities allowing unauthorized withdrawals, the exchange lost a staggering 850,000 Bitcoin. While some funds have been recovered, legal battles persist, leaving owners in limbo.

4. Bitfinex: The 120,000 Bitcoin Heist

In August 2016, Bitfinex faced a significant breach, losing 120,000 Bitcoin worth 72 million USD. Unlike Mt. Gox, Bitfinex compensated users using IOUs, eventually buying back the tokens. The exchange survived, and in 2019, two suspects were arrested in connection to the hack.

5. NiceHash: Mining Marketplace Under Siege

December 2017 saw NiceHash losing 4,700 Bitcoin (64 million USD). Despite the substantial loss, NiceHash managed to reimburse over 75% of its users. The incident highlighted the vulnerability of cryptocurrency mining marketplaces.

6. Zaif: Three Days of Cryptocurrency Plunder

In September 2018, Zaif fell victim to hackers, losing about 62 million USD. While it took three days to detect the breach, Zaif promptly used company funds to compensate affected users.

7. Binance: A High-Profile Attack

May 2019 witnessed Binance, a leading crypto exchange, losing 7,000 Bitcoin (40 million USD). Quick reimbursement through an insurance fund showcased Binance’s resilience, though temporary withdrawal suspensions left users concerned.

8. BitGrail: The 170 Million USD Nano Heist

BitGrail, a lesser-known exchange, lost 17 million Nano coins (170 million USD) in February 2018. Attempts to modify the blockchain were rejected by Nano’s developers, emphasizing the challenges exchanges face in the aftermath of a breach.

The Irony of Crypto Security: Why Trust Exchanges?

A Paradigm Shift: “Be Your Own Bank”

In the realm of cryptocurrencies, users have the option to “be their own bank.” Yet, many choose to store their assets on exchanges, mirroring the traditional banking system. We explore why this paradox exists and the risks associated with trusting exchanges.

Don’t Lose Your Bitcoin: A Cautionary Tale

The recurring theme in these heists prompts a critical reminder – the unnecessary risk of storing cryptocurrencies on exchanges. Users can opt for secure wallets on their devices, avoiding the pitfalls associated with centralized exchanges.


1. Why Do Crypto Heists Capture Public Interest?

Crypto heists captivate the public due to the substantial sums involved, the novelty of cryptocurrencies, and the inherent challenge of tracing stolen funds.

2. How Did Mt. Gox Become a Dominant Exchange?

Mt. Gox initially focused on in-game tokens, later incorporating Bitcoin. Its lack of security measures, coupled with its market dominance, attracted hackers, leading to the infamous heist.

3. Why Use Exchanges Despite Risks?

Many cryptocurrency users use exchanges for convenience, although this comes with the risk of security breaches. The allure of quick transactions often overshadows the potential dangers.

4. Can Exchanges Fully Recover After a Heist?

Exchanges can recover, as seen with Coincheck and Bitfinex. However, the aftermath may lead to increased regulatory scrutiny, impacting the overall crypto ecosystem.

5. How Can Users Safeguard Their Cryptocurrencies?

To safeguard cryptocurrencies, users should consider storing them in secure wallets on personal devices, eliminating the need to trust centralized exchanges.

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