Crypto exchange Bitmart has become the latest trading platform to fall victim to a large scale DeFi hack.
Bitmart today confirmed the platform had suffered a “large-scale security breach,” and suspended all withdrawals.
The company’s chief executive took to Twitter to confirm that $150m worth of assets had been lost from hot wallets which stored user funds on Binance Smart Chain and the Ethereum chain.
Xia said, “we have identified a large-scale security breach related to one of our ETH hot wallets and one of our BSC hot wallets. At this moment we are still concluding the possible methods used. The hackers were able to withdraw assets of the value of approximately $150m.”
However, blockchain analytics firm PeckShield which first flagged the exploit to Bitmart late last night estimated that losses were even higher, totalling $196m.
According to analysis by Peckshield the attacker withdrew funds from hot wallets and swapped the stolen assets for Ether using decentralized exchange aggregator 1inch. The funds were then sent through a privacy protocol called Tornado Cash which makes transactions much harder to track.
DeFi protocols have become a major focus for hackers in 2021. An explosion of interest in digital assets has seen total value locked into DeFi protocols jump to $101bn, up from $23bn a year ago.
In August $613m of user funds was drained from PolyNetwork in the largest DeFi attack to date. However, the attacker eventually returned the funds.
Just last week, BadgerDAO lost $120m.
Bitmart’s native exchange token BMX has tumbled by over 5.59 per cent this morning in the wake of the news, trading at $0.3411.