The decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem has not been having a stellar year as this sector of the cryptocurrency space has been plagued with hacks, exploits, and scams. Just a little over four months in the new year, over $1.6 billion in crypto has been stolen from users, surpassing the total amount stolen in 2020 and 2021 combined.
Analysis from blockchain security firm, CertiK revealed the statistics showing the month of March having the most value stolen at $719.2 million, over $200 million more than what was stolen in all of 2020. The March figure is as a result of the Ronin Bridge exploit where the hackers stole over $600 million worth of crypto, from the world’s largest Play-to-Earn (P2E) platform.
April was also a busy month for attacks with CertiK recording 31 major incidents, an average of nearly one a day. The most valuable in the month was the $182 million exploit of DeFi platform, Beanstalk Farms, in which attackers used a flash loan attack.
CertiK noted the nearly $80 million lost by Fei Protocol, the second-largest heist in April, and the $10 million lost from automated market maker protocol Saddle Finance which both took place at the end of the month.
The protocols took to Twitter to offer their respective attackers a bounty in exchange for returning the stolen funds. Whilst the chances of that happening may be slim, it’s not unheard of as the Poly Network hacker in 2021 returned nearly all of the $610 million stolen from the network along with refusing a $500,000 bounty reward.
CertiK said that April 2022, “holds the record for highest dollar amount losses in flash loan attacks ever recorded by us” with losses from that type of exploit reaching $301.4 million. In comparison, flash loan attack losses in January, February, and March 2022 combined were only $6.7 million.
The analysis of this year’s DeFi exploits comes as the total value locked (TVL) in DeFi has dropped below $200 billion for the first time since March 16 according to DeFiLlama.
Between April 30 and May 1, TVL dropped by just over 3.5% to $195.87 billion, only slightly recovering to $199.42 billion today. The last 30 days since April 3 have seen a 13.5% decrease in TVL and a nearly 22% decline since the all-time high of over $254 billion on December 2, 2021.
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