Hackers steal $120 million from DeFi protocol BadgerDAO — platform hits indefinite pause on all smart contract activity

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  • BadgerDAO provides vaults for users to store Bitcoin and earn yields.
  • The hack was unearthed by blockchain security firm Peckshield, which provided a document on the losses.
  • BadgerDAO’s hack isn’t the first such hack of 2021, but adds to the already huge tally.

A hacker, or perhaps a group of hackers, have stolen $120.3 million in crypto by hacking into decentralised finance (DeFi) protocol BadgerDAO. The hack was discovered by blockchain security firm PeckShield, which tracked down the missing funds.

After PeckShield went public, the DAO announced that they are looking into the hack. It has pushed pause on
smart contracts for the time being in order to prevent further withdrawals. It is unclear when its restriction will be removed.


BadgerDAO has roped in Chainalysis to investigate the issue along with the US and Canadian authorities. However, the has not clarified whether the victims will be refunded.

$120 million goes missing

PeckShield’s investigation shows that the attackers stole over $117 million worth of Bitcoin, while the rest of the missing assets were stored in the form of interest-bearing Bitcoin, a form of tokenised Bitcoin, and Ether — the native token of the Ethereum blockchain.
The document shows that while some users lost $5 million worth of Bitcoin, others lost over $50 million.

What is BadgerDAO?

BadgerDAO is a decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) that allows Bitcoin to be used as collateral in DeFi applications. Simply put, users can use Bitcoin to secure loans.

DAO is an organisation that is designed to be automated and decentralised, which uses blockchain-based smart contracts to automated decision making and rules.

BadgerDAO is built on the Ethereum platform and provides vaults where users can store their Bitcoin to earn yields based on market conditions.

DeFi hacks on the rise

BadgerDAO’s hack is not the first DeFi hack of the year. The $120.3 million just adds to the already massive tally for the year.
In August, virtual private network (VPN) platform AtlasVPN
reported that DeFi hacks accounted for 76% of all hacks between January and July 2021. The platform had recorded $129 million stolen in DeFi hacks during 2020, but noted that the number had more than doubled by Jule this year, to touch $361 million.

Further, data from digital assets research firm The Block’s
data dashboard showed that DeFi protocols had lost $1.4 billion through exploits by November 3 this year. The good news, however, was that over half of the stolen money had also been recovered by the DAOs.

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