Crypto Wallet Connected to Heist Has Collateral Liquidated


A cryptocurrency wallet connected to a heist of nearly $600 million worth of Binance Coin (BNB) in October reportedly had digital asset collateral totaling $63 million liquidated on crypto lending platform Venus Protocol.

The hacker had pledged the stolen crypto as collateral for a $30 million loan of the USDT stablecoin, Bloomberg reported Friday (Aug. 18), citing evidence provided by blockchain forensics firm PeckShield.

The October heist targeted the cross-chain bridge known as BSC Token Hub, according to the report. The hacker has not been identified, but similar attacks have been attributed to the North Korean-linked hacking collective, Lazarus Group.

The hacker had borrowed nearly $150 million in stablecoins like USDT, USDC and BUSD by using 900,000 BNB, worth about $197 million at Friday’s market price, as collateral on Venus, the report said.

Due to a sudden jump in global bond yields, bitcoin and other tokens took an unexpected nosedive, and more than $1 billion worth of cryptocurrency positions were unwound in 24 hours, per the report.

The crypto wallet’s collateral positions were automatically liquidated once the BNB dropped below $220, according to the report.

This occurred as bitcoin hit a two-month low amid a crypto market sell-off Thursday (Aug. 17). Other major tokens experienced losses of over 6%.

Analysts have attributed the crypto market decline to multiple factors. In addition to the bond market selloff, these factors include SpaceX writing down the value of its bitcoin holdings and subsequently selling off its cryptocurrency assets, a risk-averse sentiment that is prevailing in global markets and affecting various asset classes, and a lack of enthusiasm from retail investors.

The cross-chain bridge hack of BSC Token Hub in October led to the illicit transfer of both digital assets and sensitive information.

Cross-chain bridge hacks, which enable the transfer of digital assets and information between independent blockchains, have been an escalating problem. In the months before the hack targeting BSC Token Hub, over $1 billion was swiped in a series of major hacks.

Bridges are particularly exposed to possible hacks because they use complicated technology run by anonymous teams, and it is generally not known how funds are secured.

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