Wintermute Loses $160 Million in Latest Hacking Blow to DeFi Sector

Source: AdobeStock / Bits and Splits

A hacking attack targeting crypto market maker Wintermute has resulted in the decentralized finance (DeFi) industry player losing some $160m to the attackers. 

“We’ve been hacked for about $160M in our defi operations. Cefi and OTC operations are not affected,” Evgeny Gaevoy, the company’s CEO, tweeted, indicating that Wintermute’s centralized finance and over-the-counter activities were not impacted by the attack. 

The executive also stated that the company has around $320m worth of assets left in its coffers, and remains solvent. 

“We are solvent with twice over that amount in equity left,” Gaevoy tweeted. “Out of 90 assets that has been hacked only two have been for notional over $1 million (and none more than $2.5M), so there shouldn’t be a major selloff of any sort. We will communicate with both affected teams asap.”

In response to the hack, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the CEO of major exchange Binance, offered his company’s assistance to Wintermute, declaring Binance’s “security team is available to help, and has been monitoring.”

Wintermute says it is one of the world’s leading global algorithmic market makers within the digital assets industry. The company specializes in creating liquid markets on centralized and decentralized trading platforms and off-exchange.

An August 2022 report by blockchain analysis company Chainalysis indicates that some forms of cryptocurrency-based crime, including hacking and theft of funds, have so far increased in occurrence this year. Through July 2022, as much as USD 1.9bn worth of crypto has been stolen in hacks of services, compared to just under USD 1.2bn at the same point in 2021, according to the company.

“This trend doesn’t appear set to reverse any time soon,” the report added, with a USD 190m-hack of cross-chain bridge Nomad and USD 5m-hack of Solana (SOL) wallets taking place in the first week of that month alone. 


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