In a short message attached to the transaction, the hacker wrote that there were “multiple critical issues” with Thorchain and that they could’ve taken much more than the $8 million which was stolen today.
Instead, the attacker “wanted to teach [a] lesson” to the developers behind the protocol.
Thorchain is a decentralized crypto exchange, akin to Uniswap, but it allows traders to swap assets that may not exist on the same blockchain. If you want to trade BTC for ETH without using a custodian like Coinbase, you can do so using Thorchain. This cross-chain capability, called “Chaosnet,” was fully released on mainnet in April.
Unfortunately, the complexity of Chaosnet and the speed at which the team has rolled this product out has been problematic.
On July 16, the project had to pause the network following a similar multi-million-dollar hack.
The Thorchain team has been quick to react on both occasions. Regarding today’s exploit, they announced that the losses will be subsidized by the project’s treasury. They will again pause the network and seek out additional reviews with its audit partners.
Other members of the crypto community also commented on the speed at which Thorchain is advancing.
Eirk Voorhees, the CEO of crypto trading platform Shapeshift, recommended that the team “take the tortoise strategy” and that “the project needs to slow down.” ShapeShift was also the first crypto platform to use Thorchain’s technology for cross-chain trading.
Thorchain’s native token, RUNE, has since tanked. At press time, the token is down 13.4% over the past 24 hours and more than 30% in the past two weeks.