Wormhole, which authorizes the transfer of data from one crypto network grid to another, said on Twitter that it was "exploited" for 120,000 units of Ethereum, the second most traded Cryptocurrency. At the time of the statement, the market worth of the tokens tallied up to a little over $320 million.
Ethereum is a significant partaker in the blockchain network. It is technically one of the biggest whales in the world of decentralized finance (DeFi). Programmable fragments of code known as "smart contracts" can replace intermediaries like banks and attorneys in specific types of business dealings. A newly introduced competitor, Solana, is amassing popularity because it is more affordable and swifter than Ethereum.
The hack is likely one of the largest thefts from a DeFi protocol, which bill themselves as allowing users to bypass traditional intermediaries to borrow and lend digital assets. The theft was the latest to shake the fast-growing but mostly unregulated decentralized finance (DeFi) sites, which allow users to lend, borrow and save - usually in cryptocurrencies - while bypassing traditional gatekeepers of finance such as banks.
Wormhole Reassures Investors
"The vulnerability has been patched," Wormhole officials on Thursday, asking users to stay optimistic and also reassuring them on the safety of their funds. It added that an official investigation is ongoing, and a statement will be issued in a short while.
Hackers have consistently tormented and afflicted crypto platforms. In 2018, digital tokens worth some $530 million were embezzled from Tokyo-based platform Coincheck. Mt. Gox, another Japanese business, collapsed in 2014 after hackers stole half a billion dollars of crypto.
Wormhole hack adds to a new set of concerns for Solana, the blockchain that boasts lower transaction fees than their main rival Ethereum. Last fall, Solana was paralyzed for around 17 hours after hacking incursions by trading bots, which raised serious doubts about Solana's security measures.