Kyber Network slashes workforce, Web3 hacks cost $1.8B in 2023: 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.

Vitlalik Buterin believes Ethereum needs to reignite the “cypherpunk” revolution first envisioned for the blockchain in its early days.

The Web3 ecosystem lost $1.8 billion to exploits and scams in 2023, and the Kyber Network has slashed its workforce by half after its recent $49 million exploit.

Vitalik Buterin wants to “make Ethereum cypherpunk again”

Ethereum needs to reignite the cypherpunk revolution first envisioned for the blockchain in its early days, says Vitalik Buterin, one of the network’s founders.

According to a Dec. 28 blog post from Buterin, Ethereum was initially envisioned as a “public decentralized, shared hard drive” that could leverage peer-to-peer messaging and decentralized file storage. However, the vision began to fade in 2017 with the turn toward the financialization of Ethereum.

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$1.8 billion was lost to Web3 hackers and fraudsters in 2023: Immunefi

A total of $1.8 billion was lost to Web3 hackers and scammers in 2023, according to a Dec. 28 report from blockchain security platform Immunefi. The report stated that 17% of the losses have been attributed to the North Korea-linked Lazarus Group.

The biggest hack of the year in terms of losses was peer-to-peer trading platform Mixin Network, which resulted in over $200 million of losses to crypto investors. In second place was the $197 million exploit of lending platform Euler Finance, and in third was the $126 million hack of the cross-chain bridge protocol Multichain.

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Kyber Network axes workforce by 50% one month after $49 million exploit

The team behind decentralized finance protocol KyberSwap has “regrettably” cut its workforce by 50% to keep its business operations up and running following its $48.8 million exploit in November.

“Regrettably, we have also reduced our workforce by 50%,” said Kyber Network’s CEO Victor Tran on Dec. 24. “The decision to part ways with so many of our team members was heart-wrenching.”

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Key industry figures predict the future of DeFi in 2024

Cointelegraph spoke with various experts from across the industry to discover what 2024 holds for decentralized finance.

The sector as a whole is currently buoyant. Optimism abounds as the green shoots of renewed growth begin to show. Julian Deschler, co-founder of Web3 privacy protocol Elusiv, is among the leaders bullish on DeFi’s prospects in the near term.

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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. The total value locked into DeFi protocols remained above $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