The crypto winter, which entered its “deep freeze” stage just over a year ago in mid 2022, has brought an overall decline in crypto enthusiasm in many users and adopters. This seems to also be affecting the cryptocurrency-related crime industry “negatively” as there are over $5.2 billion less inflows to illicit blockchain addresses in H1 2023 when compared to H1 2022.
According to an analysis by the TradingPedia team, based on recently-released data from Chainalysis, the different types of crypto crime are seeing very different success rates in the first half of 2023 when compared to the first half of 2022. Only 1 of the 8 crime categories is seeing more inflows in terms of an absolute dollar amount and that is Ransomeware:
Scams are the largest “loser”
Despite being the highest-revenue form of cryptocurrency crime in H1 2023, crypto scams have seen a very big hit when it comes to dollar amount revenues this first half of the year. When comparing H1 2023 to H1 2022 we can see an immense drop of $3.24 billion from the $4.32 billion dollar amount recorded in H1 2022. This represents 77% less crypto stolen through scams in the first half of this year, when it comes to USD equivalents.
Ransomware is on the rise
The only type of crypto crime that is on the rise in the first half of 2023, when compared to the same period of 2022 is the Ransomware attacks. The amount, extorted from victims from January till the end of June 2023 equals $449.1 million. This an alarming signal as this amount is already at 90% of the total sum stolen through ransomware in the entire 2022, which amounts to roughly $500 million.
“The total value of crypto paid in ransom in the first half of 2023 stands at approximately $449.1 million which is 90% of the total extorted in the entire 2022.
A simple look at these numbers is enough to see the great rise of crypto ransomware attacks in 2023 but what is more important is the actual amount of crypto extorted. We should take into account that the crypto prices in H1 2022 were 40-50% higher compared to H1 2023.
When accounting for that, the rise in money lost to crypto ransomware in 2023 is staggering and worrying.
Furthermore, this was also somewhat expected for me, as the deep freeze stage of the Crypto Winter has resulted in many investors withdrawing from crypto overall. This left the scammers and hackers with less potential victims to rob of their crypto. Therefore I can see how their efforts were directed to developing ransomware, so they can resume with their illicit and allegedly “untraceable” profits.”