Crypto-correlated crime reached a distressing new record in 2021. With an increase of around 80% from the previous year, scammers managed to abscond with a record $14 billion in cryptocurrency last year, as reported by CNBC.

Chainalysis, a blockchain data firm, released a report showing scams were the largest form of cryptocurrency-based crime by transaction volume.

“As the largest form of cryptocurrency-based crime and one uniquely targeted toward new users, scamming poses one of the biggest threats to cryptocurrency’s continued adoption,” the report said.

For instance, a cryptocurrency inspired by the widely popular Netflix series "Squid Game" from South Korea has turned out to be fraudulent, with its founders allegedly pilfering around $3.4 million, Yahoo Finance reports.

Over $2.8 billion of the amount stolen originated from a new kind of scam dubbed rug pulls, where developers expeditiously profit from their earnings after creating a seemingly valid token, according to Business Insider.

"The amount of legitimate activity grew much faster than the amount of criminal activity," Grauer, head of research at Chainalysis Kim, told Insider. "A lot of the code that is writing these protocols is public and open-sourced."