Hackers stole $182 million in crypto. Here’s how Beanstalk Farms is hoping to stay afloat

April 19, 2022, 3:51 PM UTC

Beanstalk Farms is appealing to the hacker that stole $182 million in cryptocurrency on Sunday, offering a $1.8 million “Whitehat bounty” if the exploiter returns 90% of the stolen funds.

Hackers stole the crypto by exploiting the decentralized finance project’s governance system. Blockchain analytics company PeckShield was the first to spot the incident, and provided the $182 million estimate, noting the attackers took over 24,000 in Ethereum and 36 million in Bean, the company’s stablecoin.

After obfuscating the funds and substituting them with others (and the associated fees that go with that effort to remain anonymous), PeckShield says, the hackers netted $80 million. It took just 13 seconds to empty the account.

Beanstalk, in a statement, said the theft of non-Beanstalk assets totaled roughly $76 million.

“Yesterday morning, the Beanstalk contract on the Ethereum mainnet was exploited via a previously-unknown issue with Beanstalk’s governance process,” the company said. “The Beanstalk Farms team was immediately alerted and took action to temporarily shut off protocol governance and pause Beanstalk. Approximately $76M was stolen from the protocol’s liquidity pools. The team has since burned the remaining Beans in the exploiter contract.”

In hopes of retrieving the cash, the company made an offer to the hacker, implying it would not pursue charges.

It’s a Hail Mary attempt to keep the company alive. On Sunday, on Beanstalk’s official Discord channel, one of the developers of the project told the community: “Honestly not sure what to type. We are f—-d. This project has not had any venture backing, so it is highly unlikely there is any sort of bail out coming.”

The Bean stablecoin had been trading at or near the $1 range since last October. It’s now trading at about 6.5 cents.  

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