Poly Network is a decentralized finance platform that allows tokens to be exchanged between blockchains, operating in an area called DeFi – or just decentralized finance. DeFi is a broad term that encompasses blockchain-based financial applications that aim to eliminate intermediaries – such as cryptocurrency exchanges for example. On Tuesday, August 10, 2021, one of the largest attacks in the history of cryptocurrencies (losses are estimated as high as $600 million) took place on this very platform.
The course of the attack
The Poly Network company disclosed information about the attack on Tuesday, but already on Wednesday an unexpected turn of events took place, as hackers began to return the stolen money. By 11 a.m. Eastern time, about $258 million had been returned. Elliptic researcher Tom Robinson commented on the story: “I think it shows that even if you can steal cryptocurrencies, laundering and cashing them out is extremely difficult because of the transparency of the blockchain.”
Surprisingly, Poly Network Company started a conversation with the hacker allegedly responsible for the attack, dubbed Mr. White Hat. “White hats” are ethical cybercriminals who launch attacks to expose vulnerabilities in information systems and then receive rewards for doing so. During the course of the interviews, Mr. White Hat admitted that he was not interested in the stolen money. He also suggested that despite the damage his attack caused, it should be a lesson for users and developers.
Will Mr. White Hat be employed by Poly Network?
One of the biggest controversies that Poly Network is currently facing is the fact that the company has put a lot of faith in its abuser by inviting him to work with them. “While there were some misunderstandings in the beginning due to poor communication, we now understand Mr. White Hat’s vision for the future of DeFi and cryptocurrencies, which is in line with Poly Network’s ambition from the very beginning – to ensure the interoperability of ledgers on the 3.0 network,” Poly Network said on Tuesday, August 17, 2021.
While the future of Mr. White Hat is unclear for now, one thing is certain: Poly Network will not hold him legally accountable. Instead, the company has offered him the position of Chief Security Advisor and a $500,000 reward. Negotiations with Mr. White Hat are still in progress, and for now it is also known that he has not returned the rest of the money gained from the attack, about 200 million dollars.