After suffering one of the worst hacks in the crypto space this year, Euler Finance is finally recovering from its $196 million exploit. On March 25, the exploiter returned 58,000 Ethereum (ETH) worth over $100 million, shooting EUL tokens up by 28%.
The hackers return of stolen funds has provided much-needed respite for the financial protocol, sources show that the vast majority of the stolen assets were returned to the lender. Data from blockchain explorer Etherscan indicates over 51,000 ether, valued at nearly $90 million as of Saturday, were sent back to the Euler deployer contract in early U.S. hours. However, the exploiter made several other transactions that transferred tens of millions of dai stablecoins to another wallet, according to blockchain data.
The news of the return of funds was welcomed by many in the crypto community as it caused EUL tokens to soar. In the past 24 hours, euler’s native tokens have risen by 25%, with the majority of the move reportedly coming after the hacker returned tokens to the protocol. This surge in value has likely caused a positive sentiment amongst traders, possibly leading to higher buying activity.
It was only last week that Euler put out an offer of a $1 million bounty for the hacker to return the stolen funds. At the time, the protocol had requested that 90% of the funds be returned, a request that the hacker had apparently honored. It remains to be seen whether the remaining 10% of funds will also be returned in the near future, but for now the majority of the stolen assets have been restored.
The March 13 attack was conducted using a flash loan, which temporarily tricked the protocol into falsely assuming it held varying amounts of eToken and dToken, as CoinDesk explained. The attacker made multiple transactions to steal almost $196 million from the protocol over transactions in dai (DAI), wrapped bitcoin (wBTC), staked ether (sETH) and USD coin (USDC).
Earlier, the attacker sent an on-chain message to Euler appealing for an agreement between the lender and the hacker. This message was likely the turning point the protocol needed to bring its losses under control, as the hacker was willing to return the majority of the stolen assets in exchange for a possible agreement.
However, the hacker has since then made other transactions that have sent conflicting signals to the crypto community. A transfer of 100 ETH was made to a victim, while another 100 ETH was sent to the North Korean-linked Ronin Bridge exploiter Lazarus. Millions of dai have also been transferred to another crypto wallet, raising speculations about the hacker’s identity and motivations.
At the moment, Euler Finance is showing signs of recovery, with the EUL token rallying by 28% in the last 24 hours. However, it remains to be seen whether the remaining 10% of stolen funds will also be returned by the hacker. Until then, the crypto community can only look to the future with hope, hoping that the return of the majority of the stolen funds will fuel further growth for the lending protocol.