Crypto funds stolen last year dropped 54.3% to US$1.7 billion, after a record-setting year in 2022, when US$3.7 billion were lost to hacks and theft, Chainalysis reported. 

The New York-based blockchain intelligence firm attributed the decrease in annual crypto theft to a drop in decentralized finance (DeFi) hacks. In 2022, cybercriminals stole more than US$3.1 billion from DeFi platforms and applications but looted just US$1.1 billion last year, a 63.7% yearly drop. 

“There’s been a worrying trend in the escalation of both the frequency and severity of attacks within the DeFi ecosystem,” Mar Gimenez-Aguilar, lead security architect at Web3 security firm Halborn said. “In our comprehensive analysis of the top 50 DeFi hacks, we observed that EVM-based chains and Solana are among the most targeted chains, largely due to their popularity and capability to execute smart contracts.”

Despite the drop in the value of stolen crypto, the frequency grew from 219 instances in 2022 to 231 in 2023. 

North Korea-affiliated cybercriminal groups such as Kimusky and Lazarus Group were responsible for at least 20 hacks in 2023, the most amount of annual crypto hacks for the Hermit Kingdom. 

Chainalysis estimates North Korean hackers stole just over US$1 billion in 2023, also a drop in total value when compared to the US$1.7 billion recorded in 2022.  

In Chainalysis’ 2023 Crypto Crime Report, the intelligence firm claimed that most experts believe North Korea is funding its nuclear program with stolen cryptocurrencies.