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Hackers Steal Over $600 Million in Crypto from Poly Network

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The hack saw cross-chain Poly Network lose ETH, BNB, and USDC, worth hundreds of millions, larger than the 2014 Mt. Gox exchange hack.

Cross-chain protocol Poly Network was the victim of a hack on Tuesday that saw about $604 million in crypto stolen from the site. This marks the biggest hack in the history of decentralized finance and has sent shockwaves throughout the space. Hackers breached the cross-chain DeFi site and transferred large amounts of crypto to several addresses. The transfers include 2,858 ETH worth $267 million, 6,610 BNB worth over $252 million, and $85 million worth of USDC tokens. The combined value of the stolen tokens, which is roughly $604 million, is bigger than the infamous $460 million Mt.Gox hack of 2014. The Japanese exchange platform went bankrupt shortly after, causing tightened regulation around decentralized finance and crypto.

The Poly Network issued a tweet, asking “miners of affected blockchain and crypto exchanges to blacklist tokens coming from the above addresses”. In addition to this, the cross-chain network called on the alleged hackers to return the stolen tokens.

About an hour after the Twitter announcement, the hacker attempted to use the ETH address to move some stolen loot, albeit unsuccessfully. Meanwhile, the Binance Smart Chain address transferred close to $100 million into liquidity pool Ellipsis Finance. So far, the Poly Network has identified three addresses that received the stolen tokens.

Reactions of Stakeholders to the Poly Network Hack

Several players in the decentralized finance sector have taken precautionary measures in the wake of the hack. For instance, Tether took swift measures soon after the hack, freezing about $33 million in USDT tokens associated with the hacker’s wallet address. This was according to a report from its chief technology officer Paolo Ardoino.

Also, SlowMist, a blockchain-based security firm, took action following news of the hack. The platform issued a statement saying it was working on tracking the identity of the hackers using online details. According to SlowMist, these include the attacker’s email address, IP address, and fingerprints.  

Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, also weighed in on the recent development. The billionaire tweeted that his company will work with its security partners to “do as much as [it] can” to assist. In addition, Jay Hao, CEO of crypto exchange OKEx, said his company is monitoring the flow of coins and will do its best regarding the situation.

A few days before the Poly hack, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler pointed out that the expanding world of decentralized finance needed more government oversight. The Commission Chair said DeFi platforms use blockchains and tokens to process transactions, instead of traditional banking intermediaries. He added that such practices could foster infractions and wrongful activity. Gensler then called on Congress to preside over the crypto space using the rule of law.

The Poly Network was founded by NEO, a $3.3 billion Chinese crypto project. It uses a cross-chain protocol for swapping tokens across various blockchains. The company first announced news of the hack Tuesday on Twitter.

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Tolu Ajiboye

Tolu is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Lagos. He likes to demystify crypto stories to the bare basics so that anyone anywhere can understand without too much background knowledge.
When he’s not neck-deep in crypto stories, Tolu enjoys music, loves to sing and is an avid movie lover.


All content in this article is for informational purposes only and in no way serves as investment advice. Investing in cryptocurrencies, commodities and stocks is very risky and can lead to capital losses.

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