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Mixin Network Urges Hacker to Return Funds, Offers $20M Bug Bounty


Key Takeaways

  1. Mixin Network was hacked, resulting in a loss of $200 million in user assets.
  2. The company has left a message for the hacker, offering a $20M bug bounty for the return of the assets.
  3. The transaction was confirmed on block 18225451, with a timestamp of Sep-27-2023 06:55:59 AM +UTC.

Mixin Network, a Hong Kong-based decentralized cross-chain transfer protocol, suffered a significant security breach on September 23, 2023. The hack led to an estimated loss of $200 million in assets, primarily in Bitcoin. The company immediately suspended deposits and withdrawals but maintained that intra-network transfers would remain operational. Before the incident, Mixin had nearly $400 million across 48 chains locked in its protocol, according to data provided by DefiLlama.

The Message to the Hacker

In an unprecedented move, Mixin Network has communicated directly with the hacker via a transaction message. The message reads, “Most of our platform assets were users’, and we hope you can refund them. You can keep $20M of the assets as a BUG Bounty Reward for the BUG. Contact us via [email protected] for the reward details.” The transaction was confirmed on block 18225451, with a timestamp of Sep-27-2023 06:55:59 AM +UTC. The transaction fee was a mere 0.00016736127846444 ETH, equivalent to $0.27.

Background Investigations and Exchange Involvement

Cybersecurity watchdog Cyvers Alerts has been investigating the incident and revealed that two hacker addresses received 51 ETH from an account that had previous interactions with major cryptocurrency exchanges Huobi Global and Binance. The watchdog has called on these exchanges to assist in identifying the account linked to the suspicious transactions. Blockchain security firm SlowMist has also been enlisted to assist in the ongoing investigation. The involvement of these major exchanges could be crucial in tracing the origins of the funds and possibly recovering some of the stolen assets.

Controversies and Community Reactions

The hack has sparked debates and controversies within the crypto community. Zhuoer Jiang, CEO of Bitcoin mining pool BTC.TOP, claimed that Bitcoin stored in the Mixin protocol “should have never been stolen in the first place” and should have been “kept in cold storage.” Mixin founder Xiaodong Feng announced that the company would compensate users “up to a maximum of 50%” for the stolen assets. The remainder would be distributed to users as “tokenized liability claims” that Mixin would eventually repurchase “with its future profits.”

The Larger Implications

The Mixin Network hack serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities that exist within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Cyvers Alerts emphasized the need to strengthen cybersecurity measures to prevent future incidents of this nature. The incident has sparked concern in the crypto community, given the recent spate of similar hacks.

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