After the massive hack on the cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia last week, a blockchain data analytics platform provider is estimating that more than $16 million in ether and ERC20 tokens were stolen from more than 76,000 wallets in the highly atypical hack, where attackers likely gained access to thousands of private keys. In another sign of hackers becoming more sophisticated, security researchers recently published findings on a new variant of monero-mining malware that has the built-in ability to block rival mining software and disable cloud security agents, including those of a number of leading cloud service providers. Last Thursday, the victim of the theft of $24 million in cryptocurrency released the name of the suspected thief, a suspect previously arrested for SIM-swapping, alleging that this individual stole more than $80 million in cryptocurrency.

On Jan. 18, Switzerland-based exchange ShapeShift released a Compliance Transparency report detailing a 175 percent increase in law enforcement requests for data, including crypto addresses and transaction IDs. Law enforcement, however, continues to struggle in keeping criminal activity on the dark web at bay, as a recent report noted that dark web cryptocurrency activity continued to grow even as the economic transaction value of cryptocurrency fell. In fact, one industry analyst cited six of the eight most common cryptocurrency transaction types as demonstrating some kind of criminal or nefarious purpose.

Turning to fraud and consumer protection, the Monetary Authority of Singapore recently issued a warning to an ICO issuer not to proceed with a planned STO, as the issuer violated the conditions of a prospectus exemption by advertising the STO, leaving potential investors uninformed and subject to risks of fraud. In Taiwan, authorities charged a group of seven with violating the nation's Banking and Multi-Level Marketing Supervision acts in connection with a years-long scheme that attracted more than $51 million and defrauded more than 1,000 people. And a South Korean court recently handed down jail sentences to two executives from the crypto exchange Komid, including a three-year sentence to the CEO, for deceiving investors through the use of fake accounts, a trade bot and millions of false transactions that helped to bring in approximately $45 million in fees.

For more information, please check out the following links:

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.