Hackers plundered $600 million worth of cryptocurrency assets in a never-seen-before heist. And a decentralized finance (DeFi) network called Poly Network was the victim. But within hours of the heist, the hackers started returning the stolen assets.
Poly Network aggregates a number of digital ledgers and blockchains to allow for interaction across platforms. But in what experts describe as a well-planned and coordinated heist, hackers exploited a loophole in the network’s system and made away with the cryptocurrency assets.
Now shortly after the heist, Poly Network urged the cryptocurrency hackers via Twitter to “establish communication and return the hacked assets”. And somehow, the hackers agreed and started returning the funds; initially in bits, and then in chunks.
Cryptocurrency Heist: Why The Change of Heart?
So far, Poly Network has recouped roughly half of the stolen funds. “I think this demonstrates that even if you can steal [cryptocurrency] assets, laundering them and cashing out is extremely difficult. [This is] due to the transparency of the blockchain and the use of blockchain analytics. In this case, the hacker concluded that the safest option was just to return the stolen assets,” Tom Robinson, blockchain expert said.
DeFi Network Hacks in 2021
According to reports, DeFi hacks constituted 76% of all major cryptocurrency heists within roughly the first half of this year. And that figure represents $361 million in stolen assets.
The recent heist only raises more questions about the security of cryptocurrency. Already, governments around the world are highly skeptical of the authenticity of the virtual currency. In fact, China barred its citizens from trading in the asset back in May.
Then in July, the US government also proposed stricter laws governing cryptocurrency transactions, requiring that any transaction valued at $10,000 or more be reported to the IRS.
If pioneers of cryptocurrency and DeFi networks fail to rectify vulnerabilities in their outfit, hopes of getting the virtual currency accepted as a legal tender may never materialize.