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Celsius Network Reportedly Lost $50 Million in the $120 Million BadgerDAO Hack

It appears that crypto lending firm Celsius Network was also affected by this week’s BadgerDAO hack. The firm reportedly lost $55 million worth of wrapped bitcoin (wBTC).

Hacker Steals $120 Million worth of wBTC

CryptoPotato reported over the week how hackers managed to steal around $120 million from BadgerDAO – a decentralized autonomous organization that allows users to put bitcoin as collateral across DeFi applications.

The attacker compromised the DAO’s front end. The BadgerDAO team is currently investigating the exploit with the help of blockchain forensic experts from Chainalysis. 

Several users were complaining about receiving unusual requests for additional permissions in their accounts. The attacker managed to add a script to the frontend that tricked users to provide access to the hacker to drain the funds from their wallets.


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Engineers from BridgerDAO have suspended all smart contracts to prevent further withdrawals while analysts from Chainalysis investigate the incident. At first, the amount stolen was estimated to be around $100 million, but new data from blockchain security firm PeckShield indicated that total losses amounted to over $120 million.

This hack comes shortly after MonoX, a DeFi finance protocol, was compromised for over 30 million on Nov. 30.

Celsius Network May Have Been The Biggest Victim

There’s one address that lost 896 wrapped bitcoin, or around $51 million, making it the biggest victim from the hack. On-chain data from Etherscan suggest the address – starting with 0x534 – could be linked to Celsius Network as it has already transacted with other wallets owned by the lending firm, one of them tagged as “Celsius Network Wallet 5.”

In a Twitter thread, a user by the name BigTimeCali shared several transactions made by the wallet, adding that Celsius deleted any comments related to the hack on its Reddit page.

The address holder seems to be a large whale that often makes seven figures transactions and closely operates with a wallet with over $67 million, $40 million of which are held in Celsius native token CEL. This is not conclusive; however, it strongly suggests that Celsius is behind the wallet, but the lending firm has refused to make any statements about the hack.

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Uncategorized

BadgerDAO Hacked: $10 Million Allegedly Stolen

Badger DAO, a protocol allowing users to use bitcoin as collateral across other DeFi projects, has been allegedly exploited. Early estimations show that the amount stolen is around $10 million.

  • Reports started to emerge earlier today that the DeFi protocol was exploited, with the most predominant theory indicating that the hack was against Badger DAO’s user interface, not in the core protocol contracts.
  • Users complained about receiving suspicious requests for additional permissions while operating their accounts on the platform.
  • According to some estimations, the perpetrators stole more than $10 million in various cryptocurrencies.
  • Shortly after, the project confirmed that it had received numerous reports of “unauthorized withdrawals of user funds.”
  • Its engineers have started an investigation and have paused all smart contracts in the meantime to “prevent further withdrawals.” However, Badger failed to provide more details on the precise amount stolen or which parts of its operations were affected.
  • As a consequence of the hack, Badger’s native cryptocurrency (BADGER) has plummeted by 20% from a daily high of $29 to $22.
  • Just a few days ago, CryptoPotato reported another exploit against a DeFi protocol, in which hackers swiped roughly $30 million in ETH and MATIC.
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1inch Network Raises $175 Million from VanEck, Alameda Research

The popular decentralized exchange 1inch Network has raised $175 million in a Series B funding round. Some of the notable names that participated in the event include VanEck, Alameda Research, Gemini Frontier Fund, and Tribe Capital.

1inch Secures $175 Million

The press release seen by CryptoPotato reads that aside from the aforementioned names taking part in the funding round, Jane Street, Fenbushi Capital, Celsius, and Nexo were also involved, while Amber Group led the event.

As so many new names have participated in the funding round, 1inch said it will lead to “further decentralization” of its ecosystem, “making it more democratic by allowing everyone’s votes to matter.”

The DeFi project explained that it plans to utilize the amount to expand its services and focus on traditional investors. In fact, 1inch aims to facilitate their entrance into the decentralized finance space by creating new protocols, additional utilities for the native cryptocurrency, and scaling up the contributor team.

“While continuing to keep the existing DeFi audience happy by delivering state-of-the-art products, 1inch also aims to become a gateway for institutions that want to be part of the DeFi space.” – commented Sergej Kunz, 1inch Network co-founder.

He believes that in the next few years, institutional investors will pour more than $1 trillion, which is why 1inch will focus on providing better services for them. More precisely, the project wants to onboard such investors into its 1inch Pro platform as it expects to “more than double” its current size by 2025.


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$70M Turned Into $175M

The press release also informed that 1inch initially aimed to raise $70 million with this funding round. However, some most recent developments in the DeFi space and the “huge demand from valuable backers” prompted the project to increase it by over $100 million.

Tiantian Kullander, co-founder and managing partner of Amber Group, said institutional investors require “seamless access to liquidity across different protocols and chains” before they enter the space. This is why his team has chosen to invest in 1inch.

“We have been truly impressed by the 1inch team’s pace of product innovation and are extremely excited to partner with them as they continue to build the go-to hub for the DeFi ecosystem.” – Kullander added.

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Over $30 Million in WETH and MATIC Stolen From DeFi Project MonoX

MonoX, a decentralized finance project providing single token pools, has become the latest hack victim, in which early estimations show that the perpetrators managed to take more than $30 million in various cryptocurrencies.

  • The protocol took it to Twitter to confirm the breach, explaining that a “method in the swap contract was exploited and boosted MONO token price to sky-high.”
  • The attackers used the coin to purchase several other digital assets. According to some estimations, the total amount stolen is around $31 million. Those include $18 million in wrapper ether (WETH) and more than $10 million in Polygon (MATIC).
  • Some of the other duped assets include WBTC, GHST, DUCK, IMX, MIM, and LINK.
  • So far, MonoX has failed to provide any more specifics on the security breach, aside from wishing to speak directly to the hacker in order to resolve the issue.
  • This latest incident adds to the growing list of exploited DeFi protocols. CryptoPotato has reported numerous such occasions, with some of the latest being a $12 million attack against pNetwork and $3 million stolen from SushiSwap’s token platform.
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Crypto Resource DappRadar to Launch Own Governance Token

DappRadar – a popular dApp discovery and analysis platform – recently confirmed plans for a platform-native token called RADAR. It is intended to help DappRadar decentralize its future operations.

RADAR Token

The company revealed the RADAR token at an event in the crypto VR game Somnium Space earlier this week. According to a statement seen by CryptoPotato, RADAR is a governance token granting its holders greater influence over DappRadar’s broader ecosystem.

Through various methods, the token will reward holders for their contribution and involvement with the platform’s growth. That includes taking part in decision-making processes, meaning users will become the core of the service.

Skirmantas Januškas – co-founder and CEO of DappRadar – said the token’s introduction is simply in line with DappRadar’s principles.

“We built DappRadar around decentralized apps. Decentralization stands at the very core of our success and it’s only right to take it to the next level — true decentralization of DappRadar. Bringing the community closer is the only way to keep ahead of the curve and remain successful in the years to come.”

DappRadar was launched in 2018 and is now used to track over 8,000 dApps across more than 20 blockchains. It also tracks price action and the trading volume for numerous top NFT collections.


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Decentralizing Governance

Governance tokens are becoming an increasingly popular method for creating fairer, more distributed governance models in the crypto industry.

Ethereum Name Service – the popular Ethereum system for registering decentralized domain names – recently airdropped a DAO token to “pass governance over to the community.” The new coin spiked 160% in value upon arrival.

Days later, an upcoming play-to-earn game called Kart Racing announced its own governance token sale. The CEO of Blue Monster Games (the developers) called distributions of this type “the future of gaming.”

That said, governance tokens may also carry various risks. For instance, mass selloffs can put strong downward price pressure on smaller holders that actively contribute to their token’s ecosystem. Furthermore, many governance tokens still have a proclivity to disproportionately accumulate into the hands of a few whales, effectively leaving the project highly centralized.

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Ethereum Layer-2 Total Value Locked Reaches ATH of Over $6 Billion

The total value locked in Ethereum Layer-2 networks has surged to a peak of $6.13 billion, meaning it has surged by 13.26% in the last seven days. This comes as gas prices in the Ethereum network continue to increase and DeFi experiences rapid adoption.

Arbitrum and dYdX Take the Lead

L2beat, an analytics and research website about Ethereum L2 scaling, shows the amount of TVL ross Ethereum L2 networks from 24 Aug – 21 Nov 2021, ranging from optimistic rollups to ZK rollups. Combined, they accrue approximately $6.13 billion at press time, with Arbitrum, an optimistic rollup, and dYdX, a derivatives decentralized exchange, leading the board with $2.67B and $975M, respectively.

Total Value Locked on Ethereum in USD. Source: L2Beat
Total Value Locked on Ethereum L2 Solutions in USD. Source: L2Beat

The TVL growth follows the demand for sidechain solutions as they offer lower gas fees and higher throughput. The DeFi adoption has accelerated this year, driving massive traffic to the Ethereum network and resulting in a spike in gas fees.

Ethereum is the pioneer of the DeFi space, with hundreds of projects building on top of the network. However, the heavy workload on its ecosystem has triggered massive network congestion and an increase in gas prices, hindering its leadership in the space. Expensive transactions and low throughput has made institutional investors move to other networks such as Solana (SOL) and Avalanche (AVAX).

What are Layer 2 Solutions?

Layer 2 solutions, also called sidechains, are independent, third-party blockchains integrated into the Ethereum network that alleviate the workload on the ETH platform.

Sidechains were born as scaling solutions that reduce gas fees and increase transaction speed. They achieve this by executing Ethereum transactions on the layer-2 platform while keeping the original data of that transaction inside layer-1 (the Ethereum mainnet), all through the power of smart contracts.

Two popular types of sidechains are optimistic rollups and ZK rollups. Both technologies are very similar – they store data off-chain to reduce network workload. Some minor differences are found in the security model and the way they generate proof of fraud.

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Oasis Foundation Launches EVM-Compatible ParaTime on Mainnet, Targets NFTs, Gaming

Emerald, the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible ParaTime developed by the privacy-focused blockchain protocol Oasis, has officially seen the light of day on Mainnet. Oasis aims to attract more projects from the DeFi, NFT, and gaming dApps industries onto its network with the move.

  • The press release seen by CryptoPotato informed of the launch, explaining that Oasis Network wants to provide enhanced DeFi and NFT experience for its user base but only for a fraction of the fees that they pay on Ethereum.
  • Additionally, Oasis promised “high throughput, and instant transactions” – features supported by the “unique ParaTime architecture.”
  • So far, the network has processed over four million transactions and consists of 110 active validators and more than 4,000 delegators. The project aims to increase all figures following the launch of ParaTime since it’s integrated with Ethereum-based dApps through cross-chain bridges.
  • Developers can utilize those bridges to “solve of the biggest user experience challenges that exist today: heightened gas fees and a congested network on Ethereum.”
  • “The total value locked in DeFi is soaring toward $300 billion just as the convergence of NFT and gaming is quickly picking up speed. Emerald, offering full EVM compatibility, will bring a host of new features and capabilities to the Oasis Network, such as easy integration with EVM-based dApps and the launch of DeFi.” – commented Jernej Kos, the Director of Oasis Foundation.

  • The announcement follows the launch of a $160 million Ecosystem Fund, which Oasis founded with AME Cloud Ventures, Dragonfly Capital Partners, Draper Dragon Fund, and other prominent VCs.
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Bitcoin Is Not a Fad, Says Australia’s Financial Service Minister

The Australian Finance Services Minister – Jane Hume – publically backed up digital assets by saying they are not just a temporary trend. Additionally, she opined that decentralized finance (DeFi) presents “incredible opportunities” for Australia.

‘We Need to Acknowledge This Is Not a Fad’

Jane Hume – an Australian minister and senator – fired back at Tony Richards (Head of Payment at the Reserve Bank of Australia), who recently described cryptocurrencies as “faddish.” On top of it, he warned investors that the asset class has the potential for a crash, and thus people could lose a substantial amount of money.

In an interview for the Australian Financial Review, Senator Hume disagreed with the statement. She believes the cryptocurrency industry is a delicate area, which the local government should approach “cautiously, but not fearfully.” The ruling body of Australia should also refrain from viewing bitcoin and the alternative coins as a “fad:”

“As an industry, and as a government, we need to acknowledge this is not a fad.”

The politician added that cryptocurrencies have emerged over the years and have “captured the hearts and minds” of Aussies. A recent survey revealed that roughly one in every five Australians is a holder. At the same time, Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and Dogecoin (DOGE) are the most popular digital assets.

Senator Hume touched upon the blockchain-based form of finance that does not rely on central monetary intermediaries – Decentralized Finance (DeFi). She predicted it will “present incredible opportunities” in the future, and as such, “Australia mustn’t be left behind by far of the unknown.”


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Jane Hume
Jane Hume, Source: The West Australian

Crypto Is Like The Internet in 1995

The Australian minister also compared the cryptocurrency industry to technological developments from the recent past, such as the iPhone or Excel, that were considered irrelevant at some point. Digital assets also look like the Internet in its early days, and they can one day become a dominant technology used by everyone, Hume said:

“Don’t’ be the person in 1995 who said the Internet was just a place for geeks and criminals and would never become mainstream. And don’t be the person who argued that email was a passing fad.”

Many experts see the volatile nature of the asset class as its main issue. Hume opined that the enhanced price fluctuations occur because the industry is still in its early stages of existence:

“If the last 20 or 30 years have taught us anything, it’s that all innovation begins as disruption and ends as a household name.”

Not long ago, Anthony Scaramucci – Founder of the investment company SkyBridge Capital – gave a similar explanation. He compared bitcoin and the altcoins to companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Google – all of which faced enhanced volatility at first:

“I would categorize bitcoin and these other cryptocurrencies right now as early adaptive technologies. And just go back to Facebook, Google, Amazon – they all started with a wave of oscillating volatility before they stabilized.”

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Ethereum’s Problems are Hindering its Leadership in the Defi Ecosystem, Experts Say

The debate over the feasibility of using Ethereum as the Swiss Army of the crypto-verse is heating up again now that DeFi, gaming, and NFT are enjoying a recent surge in popularity.

But the outlook is not very positive considering the current state of affairs. The impact of xcessive fees, long confirmation times, and slow updates is starting to worry retail users, techies, and large investors.

Ethereum Developers Should Focus on L1

Faced with the difficulties of delivering a satisfactory user experience, Ethereum developers are beginning to move to rival blockchains that have capitalized on this app migration to expand their reach and increase their own market capitalization.

Blockchains like Solana, Binance Smart Chain, and Avalanche have seen a significant rise during 2021, cementing themselves as more efficient alternatives to Ethereum and its upgrade to Proof of Stake that is not quite there yet.

According to Nicholas Merten, creator of the YouTube channel DataDash, Ethereum’s advantage of being the blockchain used by all is losing ground as time goes on.


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In a Twitter thread, Merten explains that the arguments in favor of Ethereum may not hold up over time. He believes that in the end, L2s (scalability solutions built on top of the original blockchain) are impractical and generate little incentive for adoption.

For example, Merten claims that people would rather pay $0.01 in Solana fees instead of paying $0.04 to transact on Polygon —the cheapest L2 solution on Ethereum.

For Merten, Ethereum developers should focus on solutions to make L1s (on-chain transactions) more efficient and less expensive. As smart contracts become more complex, people must pay more fees.

Merten believes that Ethereum needs better marketing. In addition to technical developments, there should be a team capable of keeping the community together and excited.

Three Arrows Capital Abandons ETH and Bets on Avalanche (AVAX)

Interestingly enough, this view seems to be spreading among institutional investors.

Within hours of Merten’s tweet, Zhu Su, CEO and CIO of Three Arrows Capital announced that he had abandoned Ethereum to focus on investments in rival blockchain Avalanche. In fact, his Twitter bio already describes him as an investor in “AVAX, crypto, DeFi, (and) NFTs.”

Zhu Su’s words weren’t exactly pretty:

Zhu Su explains that basically, under current conditions, Ethereum benefits OGs. But within a global adoption framework with new users experimenting with the technology, prohibitive network fees should not be something to deal with on a day-to-day basis.

And Zhu Su is not alone. Even Antonio Juliano, founder of dYdX – a DeFi protocol running on Ethereum – agreed with him (even if the harshness of his words was painful).

Ethereum promises to solve these problems by implementing Ethereum 2.0, a new Proof-of-Stake blockchain that will have minimal fees and a very high level of scalability.

However, this solution is taking a long time, and large investors can only hope that it is not too late once it launches.

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Overall Losses from DeFi Exploits Exceed $12 Billion in 2021: Elliptic Report

According to data provided by the blockchain analysis company – Elliptic – investors have lost $12 billion to criminals targeting decentralized finance platforms since the beginning of 2021. More than $10 billion of that amount accounts for cases of fraud and theft on DeFi products.

Seven Times More Than in 2020

Over the recent years, the total value locked in DeFi projects has skyrocketed from $500 million to nearly $250 billion. With this major increase, though, comes the risk of scams and exploits.

Since the start of the ongoing year, such fraudulent activities have accounted for $10.5 billion worth of user funds that have been stolen in cases of theft on decentralized finance products. In comparison, this number stood at $1.5 billion for the whole of 2020.

Tom Robinson – Chief Scientist at Elliptic – explained the negative statistics with the fact that the DeFi space has become an area of financial innovations where people allocate significant amounts of money. As such, it has turned out to be a tempting target for bad actors:

“The DeFi ecosystem is an incredibly exciting and fast-moving space, with financial services innovation happening at light speed. This is attracting large amounts of capital to projects that are not always robust or well-tested. Criminal actors have seen the opportunity to exploit this.”

DeFi platforms also lack a comprehensive regulatory framework. In an effort to address the issues in the sector, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently published a report on regulations, risks, and opportunities in it.


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Caroline Crenshaw – Commissioner of the agency – asserted that her department has jurisdiction over DeFi, but no DeFi platform has registered with the regulator. Therefore, participants in the ecosystem remain unprotected by any legal authorities in case of criminal activities.

The PolyNetwork Drama

In August this year, the interoperability protocol – PolyNetwork – became a victim to a hacker who stole a record-breaking amount – over $600 million. The platform got exploited on Binance Smart Chain as the bad actor swiped the funds from at least three wallets.

However, the attacker turned out to be a white-hat hacker and started returning the funds from what became known as the biggest heist in DeFi history. Moreover, the perpetrator said they did it “for fun” willing to “expose the vulnerability” of such projects.

Subsequently, the attacker returned all the funds, and PolyNetwork was able to fully restore its system.

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