According to Data from blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, cryptocurrency scammers duped their victims out of $4.3 billion worth of cryptocurrency last year, tripling the amount from 2018.
Per the security firm’s report, the majority of the funds were linked to alleged Ponzi schemes, including OneCoin and Plustoken. The report read:
“The vast majority of that $4.3 billion went to just two large-scale Ponzi schemes, without which crime overall would account for just 0.46% of all cryptocurrency activity.”
Apart from the Ponzi schemes, cryptocurrency scammers used blackmail, fake cryptocurrency mixers, phishing schemes, and fake token sales to get to the $4.3 billion. To cash out their gains, scammers mostly used cryptocurrency exchanges, as 57.6% of the funds associated with scams were liquidated on trading platforms.
Chainalysis’ report says that scammers are taking advantage of the cryptocurrency space’s unique position with the wider public. This is because though most have heard about cryptocurrencies, many still believe it has “get rich quick” potential.