Crypto hacks cost over $1.8B in 2023, ENS token surges: Finance Redefined


Welcome to Finance Redefined, your weekly dose of essential decentralized finance (DeFi) insights — a newsletter crafted to bring you the most significant developments from the past week.

Crypto hack losses declined by over 50% in 2023. However, the industry still saw over $1.8 billion in losses from exploits, and dydx has reportedly identified the attacker behind a $9 million exploit and is considering taking legal action against the perpetrator. All this and more in our weekly DeFi newsletter!

The top 100 DeFi tokens had a volatile week, with the price of the tokens recording a major swing from bearish to bullish. However, the total value locked dipped below $60 billion after nearly two months.

Crypto hack losses declined 51% in 2023: Report

Over $1.8 billion in digital assets were lost across 751 security incidents in 2023. While still high, this sum is 51% lower than in 2022, when losses to hacks and other incidents reached $3.7 billion.

The data comes from blockchain security firm CertiK’s annual report titled “Hack3d: The Web3 Security Report 2023.” On Jan. 3, the security company compiled a document highlighting the state of Web3 security over the last year.

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ENS token surges 70% as Vitalik Buterin lauds platform as “super important”

The governance token of the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) surged by 72% on Jan. 3 after the domain platform received praise from Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin.

In a Jan. 3 post to X (formerly Twitter), Buterin lauded the Ethereum Name Service as “super important” and reiterated that the platform should remain accessible and affordable to all users of the Ethereum network, especially those on layer-2 networks.

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DYdX identifies attacker, considers legal action over $9 million loss

Decentralized exchange dYdX says it has uncovered the identity of the attacker responsible for the exchange’s v3 platform attack on Nov. 17, 2023, which resulted in a loss of $9 million from its insurance fund.

In a post-mortem on the “targeted attack” on the exchange, dYdX confirmed that it is now looking into legal action against the person responsible. To avoid future coordinated attacks with similar tactics, dYdX said it had improved its v3 trading platform to enhance open-interest monitoring and alerts.

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Cross-chain Orbit Bridge reportedly suffers $82 million exploit

Hackers have reportedly exploited Orbit Bridge, the bridging service of the cross-chain protocol Orbit Chain, for a total of $82 million.

In a Dec. 31 X post, pseudonymous Twitter user Kgjr drew attention to the potential exploit, pointing to a series of large outflows from the Orbit Chain Bridge protocol. On-chain sleuth Officer CIA and blockchain security firm Cyvers have posted similar information.

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DeFi market overview

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that DeFi’s top 100 tokens by market capitalization had a bullish week, with most trading in the green on the weekly charts. After weeks of bullish price action, the total value locked into DeFi protocols dipped below $60 billion.

Thanks for reading our summary of this week’s most impactful DeFi developments. Join us next Friday for more stories, insights and education regarding this dynamically advancing space.