Why does this site include posts about Bitcoin/cryptocurrency exchanges/other things that are not "web3"?
As mentioned on the about page, this project focuses on anything in the blockchains/crypto/web3 technology space. Unfortunately "Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain-based Projects are Going Just Great" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, even though it would be a more precise title.
How are dollar amounts estimated?
Unless stated otherwise, the dollar value of crypto tokens are estimated based on the token price at the time of the event.
With NFTs, I typically estimate value based on actual sale price. For example, if an NFT is stolen, I usually use the price at which the thief resold the NFT to estimate loss — even though thieves often flip NFTs for less money than they might otherwise fetch. In some cases I will also note the NFT collection's floor price or previous sale amounts, if there is a large discrepancy between the sale amount and typical sales of NFTs in that collection.
Why do some entries use language like "notionally worth"?
With illiquid crypto tokens, naively estimating value based on token price × number of tokens doesn't produce an accurate value – see my essay "Cryptocurrency 'market caps' and notional value". In these cases, I will use language like "notionally worth", "nominally worth", or "priced at" to indicate that there is a substantial amount of error in the number, and I typically try to provide a better estimate based on the actual sale price of the tokens if it's at all possible.
Aren't fiat estimates of crypto notoriously inaccurate?
Yes. It's usually impossible to accurately estimate how much actual fiat currency has gone in to the system to create the supposed fiat valuations of any crypto asset.
However, most people (myself included) have a tough time of estimating at a glance what 1 BNB is worth in relation to 1 SOL in relation to 1 ETH in relation to 1 ElonDogeMoonToken, and so I use USD estimates to try to give people some frame of reference to go with. I almost always include the actual number of tokens involved with an event (unless there are many different tokens involved), so people can perform their own estimates if they'd prefer.
Do the estimates change?
Yes. I routinely go back and update entries when new information comes out, and so you'll sometimes see estimates moving around as I strive to keep them as accurate as possible.
What is the "recovered" column in the leaderboard table?
This reflects lost funds that were recovered, either because they were returned by a thief, or recovered by law enforcement or some other entity. It does not include funds that were "covered" by an infusion of new funds, as the original assets are still missing in those cases.
What's the number in the corner with the flames?
That's the Grift Counter (™™™)! A running total of the amount of money lost so far to grifts and disasters, which increments as you scroll through the page. If it makes more sense to you to start with the total amount of money lost to grifts and scams, and have it decrement as you scroll back in time, that's an option too! Just click the settings panel icon and pick "Start at total amount scammed and subtract as you scroll". You can also show and hide the counter or stop the animation of the flames from this panel.
The grift counter does not appear when you visit the website via a permalink to an entry, because it throws off the total to start partway through the timeline.
Did the grift counter go way up recently?
In July 2023, I updated the grift counter to include some of the larger cryptocurrency collapses, which I previously omitted due to challenges in reflecting uncertainty in these amounts. The Leaderboard now reflects uncertainty more explicitly. Prior to the update, the grift counter showed the total amount at around $12.66 billion.