The world of crypto moves quickly and sometimes, when there’s an ongoing heist, the best thing that technically savvy but ethically sound users can do is join in on the pillaging. That’s what happened this week when the Nomad token bridge started collapsing and white hat hackers were left trying to steal crypto from the exchange as quickly as they could (to later return).
Hello and welcome back to the Chain Reaction podcast, where we unpack and explain the latest crypto news, drama and trends, breaking it down block by block for the crypto curious. This week, we welcomed a new co-host (senior TC+ reporter Jacquie Melinek), and we dove into Robinhood layoffs, the Solana wallet hack drama and the grand Nomad bridge heist.
Ethical hackers aren’t often forced to make snap decisions to steal millions of dollars from a crypto project, but in the wild west of web3 sometimes the best thing you can do when something goes wrong is to fill up your bags. As onlookers watched in horror as the $190 million Nomad token bridge collapsed, some jumped to the rescue and replicated the exploit that black hat hackers were using to steal more funds from the project.
Many were chronicling their thievery in real time on Twitter pledging to return the money to reimburse user funds. While this hack was pretty disastrous for all parties involved, nearly 10% of the total funds stolen have been returned to the exchange so far, with one white hat hacker returning as much as $4 million.
Alongside the Nomad hack, we also dove in pretty deep to the less pricey but potentially more frightening hack of Solana wallet infrastructure that left thousands of users losing their funds mysteriously. We also talked about the recent struggles of Robinhood, which laid off nearly one-quarter of their employees this week.
For loyal listeners, you’ll notice a big change this week. There’s no interview! Going forward we’ll be splitting up our news analysis and interview segments into different episodes so every Tuesday you can hear us sit down with a crypto expert and every Thursday we’ll drop an episode discussing the latest crypto news. Early next week, tune in for an interview with Uniswap’s MC Lader as we discuss the diverging worlds of centralized and decentralized finance in crypto.