A Singapore court judgment has favored an American entrepreneur who lost over $7.5m worth of cryptos to scammers. The report confirmed by local media (the Strait Times) further stated that the court assigned two exchanges to hold the cryptos and ensure no perpetrator tampers with the identified cryptos.
Responsibilities For Crypto Exchanges
The crypto exchanges were also tasked with revealing all the details about the accounts owning the stolen cryptos. It is the first time in Singapore’s history that any court would rule against unknown perpetrators in any court case.
Part of the court’s ruling was also a freeze of the assets of these unidentified hackers and the stolen digital assets in what is known as a Mareva injunction. The American entrepreneur sought the court’s help to track and recover 109.84 BTC and 1,498.55 ETH.
While the American couldn’t blame anyone for his loss, he claimed that the theft was carried out on January 9, 2021, and must have been done without any assistance from any crypto trading platform or crypto exchange platform.
A High Price To Pay For A Simple Error
According to the entrepreneur, he stored the cryptos in separate wallets. Then, he kept the private keys safely for easy recovery if he should lose or damage his phone. But the mistake he made was to have shared the code to the safe with his friend while on vacation in Mexico in the presence of others who might have overheard the code. Thus, when he discovered his missing cryptos, he could only suspect those around when he shared his safe code with his friend.
After discovering that the cryptos had been stolen, the American tracked his stolen cryptos to crypto exchanges in Singapore. Thus, giving him a basis to approach the court. He argued in court that the Singapore court does not require the hackers’ identity before making his judgment citing the examples of similar cases in Britain and Malaysia.
Criminal Whales Still Own $26B Worth Of Cryptos
The latest survey by an on-chain analytics firm (Chainalysis) of criminal activities in the crypto world has revealed that these criminals still own about $26B in digital assets despite law enforcement agencies’ increasing amount of crypto seizures. The report further revealed that illicit crypto stealing operations have increased by 4-folds over the past 12 months.
Hence, these crypto criminals benefitted the most from the massive rise in crypto prices, especially the period before China’s ban on crypto-related activities. Chainalysis further reported that 92% of these cryptos were stolen funds, while the rest were from the dark web, crypto scams, and fraud shops.
The report also stated that criminal balances rose by more than 100% between July and October 2021. Criminal balances stood at $6.7B as of July 2021 but became about $14.9B by November 2021. Furthermore, CrowdStrike (a cyber-security company) stated in its 2022 global threat report that Iranian hackers performed the highest amounts of ransomware operations throughout last year. The DeFi sector was the most targeted by hackers, with the sector losing nearly $3.5B worth of cryptos to illegal transactions.