20 million Optimism tokens stolen due to faulty address

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20 million Optimism tokens stolen due to faulty address

Ethereum scaling solution Optimism has lost 20 million OP tokens Optimism tokens (approximately $15 million) after Wintermute provided the Optimism team with a bad wallet address on or around May 30. A hacker got access to the transferred funds and has already transferred 1 million tokens to a different account.

How did it happen?

The Optimism Foundation sought out Wintermute’s help with providing liquidity provisioning services, with Foundation’s Partner Fund providing a temporary grant of 20 million OP tokens. This way, users acquiring OP could have a smoother experience.

While Wintermute provided an address for the tokens and two test transactions were carried out before the final transfer of funds, there were some technical issues. Instead of providing a multi-signature wallet, Wintermute provided an Ethereum address “that they had not yet deployed to Optimism (L2),” according to the Optimism Foundation’s statement. “Unfortunately, an attacker was able to deploy the multisig to L2 with different initialization parameters before the recovery operation was completed and took control of the 20 million OP tokens.”

Simply put, the hacker thwarted Wintermute’s recovery operation, used the exploit, and retained access to the funds. Since the hack, they have already sold 1 million tokens.

What now?

Wintermute announced that it would buy the tokens as the address sells them.

The company’s CEO Evgeny Gaevoy has admitted Wintermute “ha[s] made a great error” and has posted a message to the hacker. If they choose to return the fund and send them back to Optimism, they are willing to treat the whole situation as “a white hat exploit.”

The message reads, “Moreover, the way the attack has been performed has been rather impressive and we can even consider consulting opportunities or other forms of cooperation in future. We are also content with the scenario where the remaining 19 million tokens are returned to [the] Optimism wallet:


You have one week to consider being a white hat. 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.”

It has not yet been decided what is going to happen in the future. While Optimism Foundation can restore the funds via Hard Fork, it is leaving the decision to the community.

While Optimism blockchain offers an ecological upgrade to Ethereum, in general, lowering gas prices and the ecological impact by bundling transactions together, it seems the OP token is off to a bad start. Following the news, the OP token’s price has seen a massive fall today, losing 16.78% of its worth and currently trading at $0.829.

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Karolina Gaszcz

Karolina is a writer and journalist with a background in literary studies. She loves exciting tech solutions and art, and NFTs are often a perfect amalgamation of the two. Outside of work, she’s a plant mom, a vintage fashion enthusiast, and a gamer.

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