After one of the most devastating exploits in crypto history, the parent company for a popular cross-blockchain bridge has reportedly stepped in to backstop funds – a move that may have prevented widespread damage in the Solana decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem.
On Wednesday night, the Wormhole bridge suffered an exploit to its Solana-Ethereum bridge, with an attacker fraudulently minting 120,000 ether (ETH) worth over $320 million. The attacker moved the majority of the funds to the Ethereum main chain, while keeping 40,000 wrapped ETH on Solana and trading portions of that ether for other assets.
On Thursday, three people familiar with the matter confirmed to CoinDesk that Jump Trading is responsible for replenishing the lost ETH. After publication of this article, Jump confirmed the move in a tweet:
The unbacked ETH briefly appeared as if it might lead to chaos across popular Solana platforms. Blockchain bridges often work by locking an asset into a smart contract and issuing a parallel, “wrapped” asset on another chain. Because the exploit minted wrapped ETH, it left Wormhole’s real ETH reserves unbacked.