Jump Trading Backstops Wormhole’s $320M Exploit Loss

Wormhole’s parent company has stepped in to prevent chaos across the Solana DeFi landscape.

AccessTimeIconFeb 3, 2022 at 4:44 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:08 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

After one of the most devastating exploits in crypto history, the parent company for a popular cross-blockchain bridge has reportedly stepped in to backstop funds – a move that may have prevented widespread damage in the Solana decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem.

On Wednesday night, the Wormhole bridge suffered an exploit to its Solana-Ethereum bridge, with an attacker fraudulently minting 120,000 ether (ETH) worth over $320 million. The attacker moved the majority of the funds to the Ethereum main chain, while keeping 40,000 wrapped ETH on Solana and trading portions of that ether for other assets.

  • Wormhole’s W Token Has a 999% Weekly Return; Why VanEck Is Bullish on Ethereum Layer 2s
    Wormhole’s W Token Has a 999% Weekly Return; Why VanEck Is Bullish on Ethereum Layer 2s
  • Solana Passes Ethereum on DEX Volume
    Solana Passes Ethereum on DEX Volume
  • DeFi Market Rebounds to $50B as Speculators Hunt for Yield
    DeFi Market Rebounds to $50B as Speculators Hunt for Yield
  • How Spool Is Aiming to Help Institutions Enter DeFi
    How Spool Is Aiming to Help Institutions Enter DeFi
  • On Thursday, three people familiar with the matter confirmed to CoinDesk that Jump Trading is responsible for replenishing the lost ETH. After publication of this article, Jump confirmed the move in a tweet:

    The unbacked ETH briefly appeared as if it might lead to chaos across popular Solana platforms. Blockchain bridges often work by locking an asset into a smart contract and issuing a parallel, “wrapped” asset on another chain. Because the exploit minted wrapped ETH, it left Wormhole’s real ETH reserves unbacked.

    Step Finance co-founder George Harrap told CoinDesk on Wednesday that a number of Solana-based protocols that accept ETH as collateral could become insolvent due to the exploit.

    "If nobody backs it and the coins are truly gone then Wormhole ETH is worth [zero] and everyone who has a balance of it becomes worthless, DeFi protocols, users, everyone," he said.

    However, Harrap said that he expected Jump Trading, a large crypto venture capital and trading firm that purchased Wormhole developer Certus One in August, to step in to back the lost ETH.


    In a tweet this morning, Wormhole confirmed that funds had been restored and that the bridge’s operations had resumed after the attack vector had been patched:

    The backstop from Jump was well-known in Solana DeFi circles, where Jump is an active investor and trader.

    “Daddy Jump has a lot of money,” wrote Mango Markets’ Daffy Durairaj in the project’s Discord.

    The Wormhole team said that a disclosure report is forthcoming. CoinDesk has reached out to Certus One for comment.

    UPDATE (Feb. 3, 18:30 UTC): Adds confirmation from Jump; removes "Sources" from headline.


    Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

    CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

    Andrew Thurman

    Andrew Thurman was a tech reporter at CoinDesk with a focus on DeFi.

    Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.