Hackers allegedly breached blockchain-based platform Poly Network and extracted more than $600 million in cryptocurrencies on Tuesday, the company announced on Twitter, marking the biggest hack ever in the decentralized finance space that’s heating up among investors.
“We are sorry to announce that #PolyNetwork was attacked,” Poly tweeted Tuesday morning, disclosing that hackers transferred hundreds of millions of dollars to separate cryptocurrency wallets.
Cryptocurrency wallet addresses disclosed by Poly, a cross-chain interoperability network, show transfers early Tuesday of 2,858 ether tokens worth about $267 million, 6,610 binance coins worth more than $252 million and roughly $85 million in USDC tokens on the Polygon network.
The combined value of the stolen tokens, as of Tuesday morning, totaled roughly $604 million, making it even bigger than the $460 million hack on cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox that led to the company’s bankruptcy and heightened regulation in the nascent space about seven years ago.
Soon after the hack, Tether, the company behind the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, froze roughly $33 million in USDT tokens associated with the alleged hacker’s wallet address, according to its chief technology officer.
Blockchain-based security firm SlowMist also issued a statement hours after the attack, saying it had identified the attacker’s email, IP address and device fingerprints, and was working on tracking additional identity clues.
Poly, which was founded by the $3.3 billion Chinese cryptocurrency project NEO, did not immediately respond to Forbes‘ request for comment.
“We call on miners of affected blockchain and crypto exchanges to blacklist tokens coming from the above addresses,” Poly Network tweeted Tuesday.
Crypto-exchange operators spoke out soon after the massive hack. Changpeng Zhao, the billionaire CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Binance said in tweets that the company, which serves as the primary operator of the blockchain on which binance coins are built, will coordinate with its security partners and “do as much as [it] can” to help. Meanwhile, Jay Hao, the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange OKEx, said the company is “watching the flow of coins and will do [its] best to manage the situation.”
$103 billion. That’s the current market value of all decentralized finance tokens (like Polygon), according to crypto-data website CoinGecko. The space shot past a $100 billion valuation for the first time ever this year and peaked at about $150 billion in May before the broader crypto market crashed nearly 50%.
Less than a week before the Poly hack, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said booming decentralized finance platforms, also known as DeFi, deserve more government scrutiny. The platforms largely sidestep traditional intermediaries like central banks and exchanges for financial services and instead rely on blockchains—and often their own cryptocurrencies—to process transactions. Gensler said such practices can implicate securities, commodities and banking laws, and called on Congress to ramp up its authority over the cryptocurrency industry, which he likened to the “Wild West.” Meanwhile, institutional investors have largely been warming up to the space: Goldman Sachs last month filed to create its own exchange-traded fund investing in DeFi.