The purpose of this infographic is to visualize the size of large cryptocurrency hacks that have occurred in the past as if they all happened today. The hacks included in this infographic extend beyond exchanges, as there were other large entities that experienced cryptocurrency hacks, such as marketplaces like Silk Road 2.0. All hacks in this infographic are displayed as if the price of bitcoin was the same when they occurred, in order to visualize their magnitudes in relation to one another.
The x-axis shows the price of bitcoin at the time of the hack. The y-axis shows the amount lost in the hack (converted to BTC for altcoin hacks). The size of each hack circle was determined by the value of BTC lost using a consistent price, regardless of the actual price at the time.
It is important to note that several of the exchanges (rendered in green) were hacks that did not necessarily involve bitcoin or exclusively involve bitcoin.
Hack Dates: June 2011, February 2014
Amount Lost: 790,000+ BTC
In March 2014, Mt. Gox declared bankruptcy due to a series of hacks and thefts that went unreported for over three years, which were later documented by blockchain analyst Kim Nilsson. The final collapse resulted in a crash of Bitcoin in 2014. Below is a summary of all meaningful hacks that occured.
On March 1, 2011, 80,000 BTC were stolen from Mt. Gox’s hot wallet, as thieves were able to make a copy of the wallet.dat file. In May 2011, hackers stole 300,000 BTC temporarily stored on an off-site wallet, which was on an unsecured, publicly accessible network drive. However, shortly after, the thief got nervous and returned the stolen funds with a 1 percent (3,000 BTC) “keeper’s fee.” In June 2011,