Perhaps you’d be surprised to find out that Bitcoin has been hacked in the past? Millions of fake Bitcoins were minted out of thin air and injected into the blockchain.
Even the king of all cryptos has had its own security issues. But in 10 years, with an uptime that no SLA could ever hope to match, Bitcoin has proven to be one of the most resilient technologies ever developed.
In this article we’ll revisit the most notorious Bitcoin and altcoin hacks that we’re aware of.
Billions of dollars in price fluctuations, speculation, fear, uncertainty and doubt. Those who lived through the first 10 years of the cryptocurrency wild west sure have stories to tell.
We’ve organized this article into each year’s hacks. We’ll start with the only good hack in this article!
There was only one real Bitcoin hack in 2009, and it was when Hal Finney, Satoshi Nakamoto, Nick Szabo et al got together to gift us the greatest (and most fun) technological development since the WWW itself.
Here’s, arguably, the greatest Bitcoin hack of 2009 (perhaps, ever):
— halfin (@halfin) January 11, 2009
Year by Year TOC
- Part 2 – 2010 Bitcoin and Altcoin Hacks
- Part 3 – 2011 Bitcoin and Altcoin Hacks
- Part 4 – 2012 Bitcoin and Altcoin Hacks
- Part 5 – 2013 Bitcoin and Altcoin Hacks
- Part 6 – 2014 Bitcoin and Altcoin Hacks
- Part 7 – 2015 Bitcoin and Altcoin Hacks
- Part 8 – 2016 Bitcoin and Altcoin Hacks
- Part 9 – 2017 Bitcoin and Altcoin Hacks
- Part 10 – 2018 Bitcoin and Altcoin Hacks
- Part 11 – 2019 Bitcoin and Altcoin Hacks
- Part 12 – 2020 Bitcoin and Altcoin Hacks
As you can see, the number of hacks is increasing with time.
2018 and 2019 were especially active years for cyber thieves. As more and more cryptocurrency services are launched we can expect related crime to rise with it.
Most hacks have several things in common:
- Poor handling of user input
- Mixing decentralized and centralized software paradigms (such as passing session variables and keys between centralized apps and Dapps)
- Structural problems, such as adopting single signature wallets for exchanges’ hot and cold wallets.
As we can see, there is no specific target for hackers. Centralized, decentralized, hot wallets, cold wallets all have been compromised in both sophisticated and trivial hacks.
The cryptocurrency culture has introduced millions of average computer users to good security practices. Cryptography is no longer confined to banks and top secret operations, regular users have learned to encrypt their wallets, their hard drives and even their online communications.
Cryptocurrency has revolutionized the world of security. Never has so much value been stored in such tiny little codes we know as private keys.
Still, with all this development in information security, we can see that there’s still a lot more to be learned and done.
We’ll update this article with newer hacks as they happen so we invite you to bookmark it and return for future updates!