Hackers steal $600m from DeFi platform Poly Network

Hackers have stolen $600 million in cryptocurrency from decentralised finance provider (DeFi) Poly Network.

DeFi is a blockchain-based form of finance that does not rely on traditional intermediaries such as brokerages, exchanges, or banks, and instead utilises smart contracts on blockchains, the most common being cryptocurrency Ethereum.

Poly Network is a platform “built to implement interoperability between multiple chains” and claims to have integrated Bitcoin, Ethereum, Neo, Ontology, Elrond, Ziliqa, Binance Smart Chain, Switcheo, and Huobi ECO Chain.

The DeFi network has attempted to instigate communications with the hackers on Twitter and has urged them to “return the hacked assets.”

The stolen assets include $270 million on the Ethereum blockchain, $250 million on the Binance Smart Chain, and $84 million on the Polygon network.

The total cost of DeFi-related hacks totalled $474 million during 2021 – three times that of the whole of 2020 - according to research from cryptocurrency compliance company CipherTrace.

Earlier this month, US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chair Gary Gensler called on US congress to give his institution more power to regulate “Wild West” cryptocurrency markets.

"The amount of money you have hacked is one of the biggest in DeFi history,” said a Poly Network spokesperson on Twitter. "Law enforcement in any country will regard this as a major economic crime and you will be pursued.”

They added: "The money you stole are [sic] from tens of thousands of crypto community members, hence the people."

“We are aware of the Poly Network exploit that occurred today,” said Changpeng Zhao, chief executive of major cryptocurrency exchange Binance. “While no one controls Binance Smart Chain - or Ethereum -we are coordinating with all our security partners to proactively help.”

He added: “There are no guarantees. We will do as much as we can.”

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