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Crypto losses reach $685m in Q3, amount to $1.3b in 2023

News
Crypto losses reach $685m in Q3, amount to $1.3b in 2023

Crypto projects experienced a significant increase in financial losses during Q3 2023, amounting to $685.5 million, driven largely by major exploits on key cross-chain protocols.

The third quarter of 2023 saw a significant financial setback for the crypto industry, with reported losses amounting to $685.5 million. According to a study released today from web3 bug bounty platform Immunefi, these Q3 losses have surged by 59.9% compared to the $428.7 million recorded in Q2. Year-over-year, incidents rose by a staggering 153%.

Of the Q3 setbacks, notable exploits on cross-chain protocols – Mixin Network and Multichain – constituted almost half the total losses. These two incidents led to a loss of $326 million, with Mixin Network’s unfortunate $200 million exploit in September and Multichain’s loss of $126 million in July.

Mitchell Amador, Immunefi’s CEO, highlighted that this quarter marked the highest loss for the year, accentuating the influence of state-backed actors.

Furthermore, the North Korean-supported Lazarus Group, suspected of orchestrating attacks on platforms like CoinEx, Alphapo, Stake, and CoinsPaid, managed to abscond with a total of $208.6 million, which constitutes 30% of Q3 losses.

In terms of network vulnerability, Ethereum (ETH) bore the brunt, registering 42.7% of the losses across 35 incidents. BNB Chain and the Coinbase-incubated layer-2 network Base also saw significant losses, with the latter experiencing losses in projects like LeetSwap, SwirlLend, Magnate Finance, and RocketSwap since its launch on Aug. 9.

Crypto losses reach $685m in Q3, amount to $1.3b in 2023 - 1
The crypto industry losses in Q3 2023 | Source: Immunefi

Decentralized finance (defi) platforms appear to be the primary targets, incurring $499.8 million (72.9% of Q3 losses), which is an 18.5% rise year-over-year. In stark contrast, centralized platforms reported losses amounting to $185.7 million, marking a concerning 3,400% increase from Q3 of the previous year.

Recovery has been minimal but noteworthy: $61.2 million has been reclaimed from six incidents, a mere 8.9% of Q3 losses. Among these, Curve Finance was successful in retrieving $5.3 million out of the $24 million taken. Mixin Network’s proactive measure to offer a $20 million “bug bounty” for the return of their stolen funds is still pending.