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Hacking Crypto? Well, Apparently, You’re Probably Doing It for Good

2 mins
Updated by Dean
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In Brief

  • 2022 was a record year for crypto exploits, according to multiple reports.
  • There is an increasing demand for hackers willing to test systems and networks to bolster security.
  • However, according to Immunefi's recent Hacker Ecosystem Survey, most 'white hat' hackers aren't in it for the money.
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According to a recent survey by Immunefi, white hat hackers mostly crack crypto to solve technical problems. Whether you believe that is up to you.

On Thursday, Immunefi, a bug bounty platform for Web3, released new statistics which show that money is not a crucial motivator for white hat hackers. 

According to their Hacker Ecosystem Survey, 77% of respondents are more interested in solving technical challenges than getting a paycheck. Followed by 69% interested in money, 62% in career opportunities, and 38% in the community. Other factors that motivate them are learning about the internet’s future and decentralization technologies and staying ahead of the curve.

A white hat hacker is someone who exploits systems and networks for ethical purposes. Their declared aim is to test and improve the systems they break into. Sometimes this is with permission, and sometimes without. They are unlike “black hat” hackers, who exploit for the purposes of personal gain.

Crypto Hacking Is a Young Person’s Game

This may come as a surprise to the thousands of victims of crypto exploits. According to Chainalysis, last year broke records for the number of funds stolen. So perhaps white hats are needed more than ever?

Hacks 2022 record Chainalysis
2022 was a record-breaking year for crypto hacks. Source: Chainalysis

According to the report, the majority of white hat hackers are between 20-29 years old (54%), with a small percentage being over 40 years old (12.4%). 

While more women are having a go at exploiting crypto, the majority of white hat hackers are male (95.5%). Also, most of them consider hacking their primary job (55.8%), with the rest of the respondents doing it in their free time and working as software developers within the web3 or security industries. 

When it comes to chains, white hat hackers are mostly interested in Ethereum (92%). The others trail far behind. Solana (SOL) is in second place at 31%, followed by Avalanche (AVAX) at 20.4%, Cosmos (ATOM) at 13.3%, and Tezos (XTZ) at 8%.

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Josh Adams
Josh is a reporter at BeInCrypto. He first worked as a journalist over a decade ago, initially covering music before moving into politics and current affairs. Josh first owned Bitcoin in 2014 and has followed the space ever since. He is particularly interested in Web3 adoption, policy and regulation, CBDCs, privacy, and the future of the metaverse.