• Over $8 million have been laundered through NFT platforms since 2017
  • Hackers stole a average of $300,000 per scam between July 2021 and July 2022
  • Tornado Cash was the source of laundering for 52% of NFT scam proceeds

Hackers continue to rampage through the non-fungible token (NFT) industry and according to blockchain analysis firm Elliptic, they have made away with over $100 million worth of digital assets in the past 12 months.

A report from Elliptic, titled "NFTs and Financial Crime," released Wednesday covers all NFT-related hacks between July 2021 and July 2022.

"Our data-driven analysis into the prevalence of money laundering, terrorist financing, scams and sanctioned entities finds that these financial crimes represent a small but notable portion of overall non-fungible token (NFT)-related trading activity," the firm said in the report.

Over $8 million have been laundered in illicit funds using NFT-based platforms since 2017, which represents "0.02% of trading activity originating from known sources."

"Over $100 million worth of NFTs were publicly reported as stolen through scams between July 2021 and July 2022, netting perpetrators $300,000 per scam on average. July 2022 saw over 4,600 NFTs stolen – the highest month on record – indicating that scams have not abated despite the crypto bear market," Elliptic revealed.

NFT scams became widely popular among hackers recently with even the biggest projects being hacked and used to dupe investors. The popularity of NFTs is also declining, Google Trends data shows, which remains in tune with the current bearish market.

Before sanctions were imposed on Ethereum mixer Tornado Cash by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), it was the "source of $137.6 million of cryptoassets processed by NFT marketplaces and the laundering tool of choice for 52% of NFT scam proceeds," according to Elliptic.

The firm also emphasized the need to enhance the screening of fraudulent activities and improve security features on NFT platforms.

A group of hackers recently targeted the entire Discord and Twitter communities of major crypto projects like Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), which was attacked twice in June.

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