Wormhole Bridge Exploiter Supplies $46M to Crypto Lending Platform Maker, Buys Wrapped Ether

The exploiter may be earning returns on staked cryptocurrency.

AccessTimeIconFeb 13, 2023 at 11:11 a.m. UTC
Updated Feb 13, 2023 at 3:39 p.m. UTC

The exploiter behind last year’s $320 million exploit of the solana-ether Wormhole bridge has exchanged part of the fraudulently gained holdings for ether and may well be earning yields on staked tokens.

Blockchain data shows exploiter wallet 0x629 supplied over $46 million in various tokens to Maker, a lending and borrowing platform, early on Monday in Asia and used the collateral to buy $16 million worth of ether.

The exploiter bought 9,750 ether at $1,537 apiece and 1,000 staked ether (stETH) before wrapping these tokens for upward of 9,700 wrapped staked ether (wstETH), blockchain security firm Peckshield said Monday.

The purchases temporarily created buying pressure on ether, with prices increasing to over $1,530 from $1,520.

Staked ether is a derivative token issued to entities that lock up ether to help maintain and validate transactions on the Ethereum blockchain. Wrapped tokens are representative tokens with the same value as their underlying asset that can be used on other blockchains.

Monday’s shenanigans continue the exploiter’s activities in the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem.

In January, the same wallet swapped 95,360 ETH, worth roughly $157 million at the time, on DeFi aggregator OpenOcean and then transacted smaller amounts of capital through several decentralized finance protocols such as Kyber Network and 1Inch. The exploiter then levered up, borrowing dai stablecoins and interacting with several smart contracts on Lido, the top provider for liquid staking derivatives on Ethereum.


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Shaurya Malwa

Shaurya is the Deputy Managing Editor for the Data & Tokens team, focusing on decentralized finance, markets, on-chain data, and governance across all major and minor blockchains.