DeFi exploits have been the order of the day since the space began to gain prominence. For a relatively new space, this is not surprising that protocols have succumbed to exploits. However, the pace and the number of exploits that have since been hacked have been alarming. 2021 saw a new record in funds stolen in hacks. However, 2022 is shaping up to be an even worse year with more than $400 million already stolen in less than two months.
DeFi Exploits Hit $435 Million
2022 is barely two months into the year and there have already been multiple hacks running into the hundreds of millions of dollars stolen. The first hack of the year had been on New Year Day, ushering in the new year with what can only be said to be bad tidings. This first hack which took place on Tinyman, a decentralized trading protocol built on the Algorand blockchain, had seen $3 million lost to the heist.
A little over a week after, Lympo had been hacked. The sports NFT minting platform had seen its hot wallet breached, leading to the loss of 165.2 million LMT tokens. In total, there was a total of $18.7 million stolen from the platform.
Qubit Finance was the next to succumb to an exploit. The decentralized lending and borrowing protocol lost $80 million when hackers discovered a vulnerability that allows them to mint an unlimited number of xETH. The attackers then proceeded to use the minted xETH to borrow on BSC.
Wormhole was the latest DeFi platform to succumb to an exploit by attackers. News had broken in early February that the popular cross-chain bridge had been hacked for various cryptocurrencies. In what is now billed as the second-largest DeFi hack to date, the hackers had made off with 80,000 worth of ETH. In total, Wormhole had lost $326 million to the attackers.
So far, just 40 days into the new year, the amount that has been stolen from exploits has summed up to $435 million.
Total DeFi market touches $134 billion | Source: Crypto Total DeFi Market Cap on TradingView.com
A Repeat Of 2021?
2021 was a year notorious for crypto hacks. There were a total of 52 DeFi hacks recorded in the year, seeing more than $10 billion in crypto lost to attackers. The Poly Network, the largest DeFi hack to date, had seen over $600 million stolen by an attacker (although the funds have since been returned). Protocols succumbed to exploits left, right, and center, coming out to an average of one a week.
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With the number of exploits already recorded for the year, it looks like 2022 is gearing up to perform a repeat of the previous year. It is already speculated that scams would continue to be on the rise but as for exploits, there is no telling how much more investors would lose in the New Year. DeFi is still young and as such still a very vulnerable and risky space to be in.
Featured image from NewsBTC, chart from TradingView.com