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MonoX Finance DeFi Protocol Exploited for $31 Million

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Attacker inflated MONO prices to buy other tokens on MonoX.
  • A smart contract bug was the cause of the exploit.
  • MONO prices have dumped 33% in five days.
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The latest decentralized finance protocol to suffer a multi-million dollar exploit this year is MonoX Finance.

Details are thin on the ground at the moment but the team behind the DeFi protocol tweeted in the late hours of Nov 30 that its smart contracts had been exploited.

It went on to explain that its swap contract was exploited enabling the malicious actor to artificially inflate the price of its MONO token before using it to purchase all the other assets in the pool. The exploit was caused by a smart contract bug that led to incorrect price updates when conducting token swaps.

The team also appealed to the attacker in an effort to recover some of the funds:

We also really wish to have a chance in talking with the “hacker”. We value very much for what we’ve built for the current and future MonoX, and most importantly our users and their funds; PLEASE reach out to us,

DeFi researcher Igor Igamberdiev delved deeper into the exploit to report that $31 million was lifted from the protocol’s Ethereum and Polygon platforms.

The pool tokens stolen included 5.7 million MATIC ($10.5M), 3,900 WETH ($18.2M), 36 WBTC ($2M), 1,200 LINK ($31k), 3,100 GHST ($9.1k), 5.1 million DUCK ($257k), 4,100 MIM ($4.1k), and 274 IMX ($2k).

The attacker used Tornado Cash to add a privacy layer to the transactions according to PeckShield.

MonoX is a multi-chain DEX that attempts to solve the capital inefficiencies created by liquidity pairs by using a single token pool model.

2021: A year of DeFi exploits

MonoX is the latest in a long list of DeFi protocols that have been exploited this year. The majority of them have been on the Binance Smart Chain network but others such as Polygon and Avalanche have seen protocols hacked.

So far, the list of exploited BSC protocols includes PancakeBunny, Cream Finance, bEarn, Bogged Finance, Uranium Finance, Meerkat Finance, SafeMoon, Spartan Protocol, and Belt Finance.

On Oct 15, Indexed Finance lost $16 million in a hack that exploited its balanced pools and on Oct 30, the BSC-based lending protocol BXH was exploited for as much as $130 million.

According to DeFiYield’s Rekt Database, November has seen exploits on Snowdog, Visor Finance, Ploutoz Finance, Unlock Protocol, Zenon Network, Blizzard, and bZx again.  

MONO token price dumps

Unsurprisingly, the MONO token has collapsed, shedding 16% on the day to below $5. The token has lost 33% over the past five days since it hit an all-time high of $7.48 on Nov 26.

Top crypto platforms in the US | March 2024

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Martin Young
Martin Young is a seasoned cryptocurrency journalist and editor with over 7 years of experience covering the latest news and trends in the digital asset space. He is passionate about making complex blockchain, fintech, and macroeconomics concepts understandable for mainstream audiences.   Martin has been featured in top finance, technology, and crypto publications including BeInCrypto, CoinTelegraph, NewsBTC, FX Empire, and Asia Times. His articles provide an in-depth analysis of...
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