Top 10 Bitcoin Heists of all time!
Top 10 Bitcoin Heists of all time!
1)2014 Mt. Gox Collapse
Victim: Mt. Gox and users
Amount: Estimate 850000 BTC
Equivalent in USD: 700258171 $
Equivalent in January 2014 BTC: 850000 BTC
Formerly the largest Bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox was the center of the Bitcoin economy for three years. Unfortunately, the codebase behind the exchange was out of date and poorly-written. The exchange had already suffered a series of security breaches, some publicized and likely many kept secret. In February 2014, Mt. Gox announced that it was bankrupt. Perhaps 750000 BTC of customer funds have not been returned. More information will be added as the story develops.
Fallout from this theft includes the collapse of Cyprus-based Neo & Bee, which blamed its losses on Mt. Gox.
2)Silk Road Seizure
2013-10-02: First seizure (Silk Road user funds)
2013-10-25: Second seizure (Ross Ulbricht’s personal coins)
Victim: Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht, Silk Road users
Perpetrator: FBI seizure
First seizure: 27618.69843217 BTC
Second seizure: 144336.39449470 BTC
Total: Exactly 171955.09292687 BTC
Equivalent in USD: 26867560 $
Equivalent in January 2014 BTC: 32700 BTC
Silk Road was a former underground marketplace that dealt primarily in Bitcoin. Run by Ross Ulbricht, it was once widely known for frequent narcotic sales. Although it operated under the jurisdiction of the United States, it made little attempt to comply with US law. However, clever use of the Tor technology allowed Silk Road to escape the authorities for years.
Finally, in October 2013, the FBI was able to produce conclusive evidence of Ross Ulbrict’s culpability. Ulbricht was found in San Francisco and arrested. In the days ensuing, it seized a large portion of Ulbricht’s personal wealth in addition to stored balances by Silk Road users. However, the FBI has yet to successfully seize an estimated remaining 400000 BTC in Ulbricht’s personal wallet.
The first seizure came right as Silk Road’s domain was seized, and included funds belonging to Silk Road users. The second seizure came several weeks later, seizing coins belonging to Ross Ulbricht himself.
This seizure is notable in that it is the first major legally authorized seizure. At the moment, Ulbricht is awaiting trial in New York.
3)Sheep Marketplace Incident
Victim: Sheep Marketplace users
Perpetrator: Official story blames user EBOOK101; suspicion of an inside job
Transactions of interest: Disputed
Amount: Estimate 5400 BTC
Equivalent in USD: 4070923 $
Equivalent in January 2014 BTC: 4980 BTC
Czech-based underground marketplace Sheep supposedly suffered a major breach causing the loss of 5400 BTC, which was passed down to its users. This official story is disputed, with many claiming the actual loss was far more severe. However, estimates of over 90000 BTC being stolen by the operator of Sheep were found to have accidentally tracked BTC-E internal wallet movements, thus discrediting this alternative explanation.
Victim: Silk Road 2 users
Perpetrator: Official story blames three attackers; many suspect an inside job.
Transactions of interest: See official statement.
Amount: Estimate 4400 BTC
Equivalent in USD: 3624866 $
Equivalent in January 2014 BTC: 4400 BTC
Defcon, an administrator at underground marketplace Silk Road 2 (not to be confused with Silk Road), noticed that funds held for the escrow service were stolen in February 2014. “Transaction malleability”, an issue with the Bitcoin protocol at the time that also affected some other services, was blamed for the theft. Others note that transaction malleability is unlikely to result in coins being stolen and believe the Silk Road 2 incident to be an inside job.
Several months after the incident, it was reported that Silk Road 2 is paying users back with funds earned from commissions.
Time: Between May 2013 to October 2013
Date of shutdown: 2013-10-26
Victim: Chinese investors in “GBL”.
Amount: Estimate 22000 BTC
Equivalent in USD: 3437446 $
Equivalent in January 2014 BTC: 4190 BTC
Beijing-based “GBL” was advertised as a Hong Kong-based exchange and shut down after attracting significant investment. At the time, there was a Bitcoin craze in China, which lasted for much of the latter half of 2013 and was credited as the leading cause of the November 2013 bubble.
Victim: MintPal users
Perpetrator: Likely “Alex Green”
Amount: Lower bound 3894.49250000 BTC
Equivalent in USD: 3208412 $
Equivalent in January 2014 BTC: 3890 BTC
Cryptocurrency exchange MintPal was abruptly shut down by Moopay executive “Alex Green”, which may be a pseudonym. The cold wallet was allegedly emptied by Green.
7)Bitcoin Savings and Trust
Victim: Creditors of First Pirate Savings and Trust, later Bitcoin Savings and Trust
Status: Trendon Shavers (Perpetrator) caught by SEC
Equivalent in USD: 2983473 $
Equivalent in January 2014 BTC: 3700 BTC
More information on Trendon Shavers default.
Transactions of interest:
Amount: Exactly 5896.23098163 BTC
Equivalent in USD: 3009397 $
Equivalent in January 2014 BTC: 3680 BTC
PicoStocks, a stock exchange using a novel means of circumventing legal regulation, reported that someone that previously had access to PicoStocks keys used them to defund both hot and cold wallets. Creditors were reportedly unaffected as, despite the magnitude of the loss, PicoStocks covered it completely.
Time: Unknown time in July 2011 (claimed it was a process)
Victim: MyBitcoin & customers
Status: Thief unknown, planned shutdown suspected (disputed theft)
Suspects: “Tom Williams”, likely pseudonym (founder of MyBitcoin)
Amount: Exactly 78739.58205388 BTC
Equivalent in USD: 1072570 $
Equivalent in January 2014 BTC: 1400 BTC
Transaction information: none
Little information was released about the MyBitcoin theft, however, many argue that Tom Williams ran it as a scam (and was not a theft per se). In terms of both dollars and bitcoins, this was by far the largest theft, however, it is possible it was simply a scam. Although MyBitcoin offered to release its code as a gift to the community, it failed to follow through on that promise. In the months ensuing, some evidence has been uncovered supporting mortgage broker Bruce Wagner; however, any evidence is inconclusive.
The theft resulted in the closure of MyBitcoin, which was once a successful Bitcoin company in Bitcoin’s early days.
Victim: CryptoRush (alternative cryptocurrency exchange) and users
Perpetrator: Identified as an “IP from Ukraine”.
Amount: About 950 BTC
Equivalent in USD: 782641 $
Equivalent in January 2014 BTC: 950 BTC
Cryptocurrency exchange cryptorush.in suffered a security breach leading the the loss of almost 1000 BTC and a significant amount of other cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin.
The exchange attempted to continue operations and withhold its insolvency from its users. Some days later, it created its own proprietary cryptocurrency, purporting to pay dividends to owners.
The exchange later suffered another bug leading to the loss of cryptocurrency balances in Blackcoin. A support employee later leaked details of the theft and the attempts to cover it up.