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Report shows more than $100 million of NFTs stolen since 2021

Elliptic released a report showing millions of NFTs stolen since last year

Image source: Variety

Since the NFT boom in early 2021, NFT theft has become a recurring problem for marketplaces and owners.

From time to time there are reports of owners and even celebrities having their NFTs stolen.

But how many NFTs have been stolen in the last year?

Elliptic released a report showing an astonishing number.

The report

Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic has revealed that over $100 million worth of NFTs have been stolen since 2021.

The report was released on Wednesday.

The report, titled “NFTs and Financial Crime,” covers nefarious crypto activity between July 2021 and July 2022.

The report only covers stats from last year, but Elliptic has covered previous years as well.

They discovered that over $8 million in illicit funds had been laundered using NFTs since 2017.

Breaking down the theft

According to Elliptic, cybercriminals earned an average of $300,000 per scam. They reported that more than $24 million worth of NFTs were stolen via scams in May of this year, with July 2022 being the highest month for the number of NFTs stolen: 4,600.

“Actual numbers are likely to be higher, as thefts are not always publicly reported,” said Elliptic.

Undeclared thefts are usually the cheapest NFTs.

Reports also claim that 23% of NFTs stolen this year came from compromised social media platforms, including Discord and phishing messages sent to channel members.

Elliptic also found that other attack methods include phishing emails, malicious websites, and a mobile wallet exploit.

The mobile wallet exploit happened earlier this month when a Solana hack occurred.


Elliptic found that CryptoPunk # 4234 was the most valuable NFT stolen.

The NFT was stolen in November 2021 and costs $ 490,000.

Since then, CryptoPunk # 4234 has been “reported for suspicious activity” on the OpenSea market.

Meanwhile, the main theft of December 2021 resulted in the loss of 16 “blue chip” NFTs worth $ 2.1 million.

Bored Apes

Elliptic also revealed that large quantities of NFT Bored Apes, Mutant Apes, Azuki, Otherside, and CloneX had been lost due to the scams. “Together, these five collections make up more than two-thirds of the NFT value stolen in July 2021,” Elliptic wrote.

Cybercriminals often chased Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, which account for $ 43.6 million in stolen NFTs.

Two months ago, actor and producer Seth Green had to pay $ 300,000 to get his stolen Bored Ape NFT back after a phishing attack.

In April 2022, a fake airdrop targeting Bored Ape NFT owners is estimated to have stolen tens of millions of dollars.

The elliptical data suggests that the scammers removed a $ 58.1 million worth of Ape NFT from the Bored Ape Yacht Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club in July 2022.

“Across June and July 2022, thefts of valuable NFTs decreased while those affecting lower value early-stage projects rose,” wrote Elliptic.

“This trend likely partially reflects valuable NFT owners “hodling” their assets throughout the bear market and not engaging as actively with new projects vulnerable to scammer activity.”

Other concerns

The Elliptic report also spoke of the North Korean Lazarus Group breaching Axie Infinity’s Ronin Ethereum side-chain bridge in March 2022.

They also talked about the recently sanctioned Tornado Cash mixing service, which used digital assets worth over $ 160,000 from sanctioned entities to purchase NFTs.

“Although crime represents a small proportion of overall NFT trading, it has a disproportionate impact on the industry’s reputation and undermines the quality of experience of legitimate users,” said Elliptic.

In addition to the reputation impact, Elliptic noted that cybercriminals are getting smarter at bypassing authentication protocols.

In January, the scammers managed to get away with SOL 9,136 (about $ 1.3 million before the market crash), despite having been verified.

Counterfeit NFTs have also started to make more waves.

In January, OpenSea removed 80% of NFTs from the platform for violations such as plagiarism, fake collections, and spam.


Cybercriminals have stolen over $100 million in NFTs: report

More than $100M worth of NFTs stolen since 2021 —- Elliptic

Opinions expressed by Coin Week contributors are their own.

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