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HomeCrypto NewsMarketHacker Who Seized 20 Million Optimism Tokens Sent 1 Million OP To Ethereum’s Founder Vitalik Buterin

Hacker Who Seized 20 Million Optimism Tokens Sent 1 Million OP To Ethereum’s Founder Vitalik Buterin


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Ethereum creator has received 1 million OP from an anonymous hacker who seized 20 million coins from Wintermute.

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Layer-2 scaling solutions are great because they’re fast, but they can be risky sometimes. Such is the case where 20 million Optimism tokens were sent from the Optimism Foundation to Wintermute, a market maker, and liquidity provider. The tokens were sent from a Layer-2 address to a Layer-1 address.

Apparently, Wintermute failed to synch the two addresses that were clearly on different layers. As such, the 20 million OP tokens were left floating on the chain – not reaching the intended address, and not refunded to the source address.

Hacker Seized All Of The “Floating Coins”

Wintermute assured Optimism that the coins were safe and could be retrieved while the coins were floating. That didn’t turn out to be true because the coins were soon seized by an outsider – a hacker who found a way to redirect the coins to his/her address.

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Vitalik Buterin Gets 1 Million OP

Interestingly, the hacker didn’t use the coins to manipulate the governance system on Optimism. Instead, he sent 1 million OP coins to Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin. At the time, the 20 million coins were worth roughly $35 million. The transfer was reported in a tweet by PeckShieldAlert.

1M op tokens sent to eth founder

When Optimism and Wintermute went public with the news, OP price dipped by over 30%. At the time of this writing, OP is trading at $0.84 and registering a 24-hour drop of 15%. At the moment, with the current price, the coins are worth less than $20 million.

Hacker Offered A Job At Wintermute

Meanwhile, Wintermute has taken full responsibility for the loss and has made attempt to contact the hacker. The company has even hinted at a possible job offer to the hacker. However, the hacker has remained silent after sending the 1 million OP to Vitalik.

Interestingly, Wintermute hasn’t been all cozy to the hacker, though it has been somewhat kind to Optimism. While the company is looking to negotiate with the hacker to get them to refund the tokens, its approach seems a bit abrasive.

Its statement read,

“You have one week to consider being a whitehat. In case the above doesn’t happen, we are 100% committed to returning all the funds, tracking the person(s) responsible for the exploit, fully doxxing them, and delivering them to the corresponding juridical system. Remember that robbers need to get lucky every time. Cops only have to get lucky once. This is not a “code is law” theoretical argument.

This is you taking a bag with cash that was left behind by a (careless) person. Us being careless still leaves you a criminal. We already started investigating the potential leads, in certain cases stopping short of informing respective law enforcement agencies. Consider your options and choose to be good and optimistic instead of living in fear.”

Disclaimer: This content is informational and should not be considered financial advice. The views expressed in this article may include the author's personal opinions and do not reflect The Crypto Basic’s opinion. Readers are encouraged to do thorough research before making any investment decisions. The Crypto Basic is not responsible for any financial losses.



Ammara Mubin is a cryptocurrency reporter and trader with vast experience in the industry. Mubin has written several news stories related to the crypto industry, including non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized finance (DeFi), fundraising, mining, etc. Her major focus is covering regulatory events that are capable of shaping the entire crypto ecosystem.

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