Poly Network security was breached on August 10 due to a cryptography issue. This resulted in the loss of about $611 million worth of digital assets, including $253 million in tokens on Binance Smart Chain (BSC), $273 million of Ethereum tokens, and $85 million in USDC on the Polygon network. The news came as a shock to the crypto industry, given the number of digital assets stolen.
Confirming the development, the Poly Network team tweeted, “We are sorry to announce that #PolyNetwork was attacked on @BinanceChain @ethereum and @0xPolygon. We call on miners of affected blockchain and crypto exchanges to blacklist tokens coming from the above addresses.”
Binance and many other crypto platforms responded to the call. Shortly after, Tether Inc., the company behind the USDT stablecoin, was able to freeze about $33 million worth of USDT tokens, preventing the attacker from making any further transfers with the stablecoins. A blockchain security company, SlowMist, also claimed it was able to track down the attacker’s ID, as well as his IP information and fingerprints.
As the event unfolded, it was learned that the attacker wasn’t interested in the funds but was trying to point out the flaw in Poly Network security. The attacker embedded a message in a transaction, which reads:
“IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A BILLION HACK IF I HAD MOVED REMAINING SH*TCOINS! DID I JUST SAVE THE PROJECT? NOT SO INTERESTED IN MONEY, NOW CONSIDERING RETURNING SOME TOKENS OR JUST LEAVING THEM HERE.”
Presently, all the stolen assets have been returned by the hacker. Many people speculated that the hacker had no other choice than to return the funds because it would be too difficult to launder such an amount of funds. Meanwhile, Poly Network awarded the hacker a bug bounty worth $500,000 and also offered to hire him as a chief security advisor.
Poly Network is Different from Polygon
Some people have confused Poly Network to also be Polygon, probably because they have a common term “Poly.” But that’s incorrect. In fact, Poly Network and Polygon are two separate networks offering different crypto-related services.
Poly Network is a decentralized interoperability protocol. It’s neither a cryptocurrency exchange nor a scalability platform. It aims at interconnecting several blockchain networks to enable the next-generation internet.
Given the differences in the operation mechanism and structure of blockchains, crypto users need interoperability platforms to interact with different blockchains. This is where Poly Network comes in handy, and it’s already integrated with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Neo, Binance Smart Chain, Huobi ECO Chain, and several other chains.
With such an array of networks, the users on the platform will be able to swap tokens or process transactions across these supported blockchains easily.
Polygon is a Scalability Network for Ethereum
Based in India, Polygon Network is a layer-2 scalability solution that aims to facilitate cheaper and faster transactions on multiple blockchains, especially Ethereum.
It’s undeniable that Ethereum is the root blockchain for many crypto projects, tokens, and several protocols in the decentralized finance industry. However, Ethereum suffers scalability issues, which results in congestion of the network, and slow and expensive transaction fees.
The core developers are working to introduce a permanent fix to this issue via Ethereum 2.0. However, this major update is still years away from launch, hence the need for scalability solutions like Polygon. Formerly known as Matic Network, Polygon is able to achieve the scalability feature by combining the Plasma Framework and proof-of-stake blockchain architecture. There are now more Ethereum-based protocols running on the Polygon network.