• Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

NFTs worth $100 million lost to scams in past year: Elliptic

  • The average NFT theft was valued at around $300,000.
  • A record 4,600 NFTs stolen in July 2022.

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) worth more than $100 million were stolen in the past year, London-based blockchain analytics firm Elliptic said in a report published Wednesday.

According to the firm, the figures represent NFT thefts that were publicly reported between July 2021 and July 2022, suggesting it could be higher.

$300k per NFT scam

During this period, scammers netted an average of $300,000 per theft, with July 2022 seeing a record 4,600 NFTs stolen. This suggests that NFT scams continue to increase despite the impact of the crypto winter to the broader market.

Sanctioned Tornado Cash appears to have been use to process the NFT funds stolen from marketplaces, which Elliptic puts at around 52% of all transactions.

In the report, Elliptic also notes that NFT-based platforms have helped launder more than $8 million in illicit funds since 2017. According to the analytics firm, these amounts account for 0.02% of trading activity tracked to known sources.

NFT sales

The report covers that period of the previous bull market when surging crypto markets and the availability of easy money propelled the NFTs sector to new news. With only a few hundred million dollars’ worth of sales seen in 2020, last year’s rally – particularly between July and November – pushed sales volumes in the NFT market well over $40 billion for the year.

The outlook has been somewhat different in 2022, with the bear market contributing to a significant decline in sales. 

But even so, a recent report from blockchain analysis platform Chainalysis shows the number of NFT buyers as of Q2 this year was only bettered by those seen in Q3 2021 and Q1 2022.

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