New analysis has identified which popular blockchains most successfully returned users’ funds lost due to scams over the last year – with HECO Chain crowned top.
The findings follow a deep-dive into the De.Fi REKT Database by Smart Betting Guide, which identifies the most common cryptocurrency scams, the losses per scam, and which blockchains were targeted the most – with users losing more than £1.3 billion last year.
While most users saw their crypto taken for good, some chains could return lost funds – but not many, with just 10.3% of the total £1,390,282,076 that was stolen successfully regained.
The data reveals that some chains were more successful at returning lost funds than others, with just over a third (35%) of the 17 targeted blockchains managing to do so.
Of these successful chains, HECO Chain recovered the most, returning 28.6% of the total £6.3 million lost due to exit scams and exploits (equivalent to £180,910). Compared to the average return rate of 10.3%, HECO users are 240% more likely to regain their stolen funds.
The second-most successful chain was Ethereum, recovering 20.9% of the chain’s £728.9 million funds lost over the last year – equivalent to returns of £152,247,155. This means Ethereum users are 103% more likely to see their stolen funds returned than the average.
Rounding out the top three most successful chains was Avax, which recovered 12.2% of the £17,353,827 lost due to scams last year (equivalent to £2,114,891). Although it’s a lower return rate, Avax users are still 18% more likely to regain their funds than the average.
On the other end of the scale, the blockchain that proved the worst at recovering stolen funds was Bitcoin, which unsuccessfully returned any of the £209,975,012 lost last year.
While most (65%) blockchains analyzed in the database failed to return funds, Bitcoin was the one that saw the highest losses out of that list, and so arguably disappointed more users than the likes of Polygon (£98,132,445 lost) and Centralized (£93,383,158 lost).
Other blockchains that failed to recover any lost funds included Optimism (£14,301,993 lost), Fantom (£5,813,833 lost), and zkSync Era (£4,108,000 lost).
As well as identifying which blockchains were most affected by scammers, the analysis reveals which scam types result in the highest losses overall.
Phishing scams were one of the most prevalent, resulting in a total of £58,845,334 lost. A phishing scam sees cybercriminals target users’ eWallet via schemes like fake websites or fraudulent emails, with users encouraged to share their private details or private keys.
While some targeted users hit by other scams could recover their lost sum, the data found that nobody who reported a loss due to phishing successfully regained their funds.
The analysis also shows that March is the riskiest month for cryptocurrency users, as the month reports the highest average losses (£22,956,514) due to phishing scams.
Speaking on the findings, Zigmas Pekarskas, CEO of Smart Betting Guide, said: “As cryptocurrency continues to grow in popularity among investors, so does the appeal to scammers – especially among volatile blockchains or vulnerable users. However, there are some telltale signs to look out for that may indicate you’re being targeted.
“The most obvious sign is if someone is typing to gain access to your private information, like security codes or login details. Do not share your personal information unless you are 100% sure the request is safe – especially if you’ve been randomly contacted over text or email. Also, be wary of ‘too-good-to-be-true’ returns, discounts, or tokens. If you know a cryptocurrency is particularly volatile, exercise caution before accepting investment support.
“Ensure that you are aware of how cryptocurrencies and blockchains work so that you can identify any discrepancies that may allude to ulterior motives. Make sure you only trade via reputable exchanges and always use a secure eWallet to hold funds.”