Hackers have stolen nearly $320 million in cryptocurrency from a decentralized finance (DeFi) platform Wormhole Portal. The DeFi platform is a bridge between the Solana (SOL) cryptocurrency and other blockchains, it was mined by approximately 120,000 Ethereum wrapped.
It should be noted that this is the fourth largest recorded crypto heist of all time. Wormhole has offered a bounty worth $10 million to hackers to return the funds. “The wormhole network was mined for 120k wETH. ETH will be added in the next few hours to ensure that wETH is backed 1:1. More details to come shortly. We are working to recover the network quickly. Thank you for your patience,” Wormhole said in a recent tweet.
For the uninitiated, DeFi is an alternative financial ecosystem where consumers transfer, trade, borrow and lend cryptocurrencies, regardless of the traditional financial institutions and regulatory structures that have been built around banking. The DeFi movement aims to “disintermediate” finance, using computer code to remove the need for trust and intermediaries in transactions.
The DeFi sector has seen a jump in thefts and scams over the last 12 months. In January 2022, the DeFi company Qubit Finance was attackedand the network suffered a loss of nearly $80 million.
DeFi transaction volume soared 912 percent in 2021, according to statistics from Chainalysis. “DeFi is one of the most exciting areas of the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem, presenting tremendous opportunities for both entrepreneurs and cryptocurrency users,” Chainalysis wrote in its annual Crypto Crime report. “But DeFi is unlikely to reach its full potential if the same decentralization that makes it so dynamic also enables widespread scams and theft.”
As of early 2022, Chainalysis said that illicit addresses already hold more than $10 billion worth of crypto, most of which is in wallets associated with crypto theft. Hackers have focused more on DeFis in 2021, in yet another warning to those dabbling in this emerging segment of the crypto industry. “DeFi is one of the most exciting areas of the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem, presenting tremendous opportunities for both entrepreneurs and cryptocurrency users,” Chainalysis wrote in its annual Crypto Crime report.