Hedera Mainnet Exploited, Leading to Theft of Liquidity Pool Tokens

Hedera Hashgraph is a distributed ledger technology that offers faster transaction times and lower fees than traditional blockchains. Its mainnet supports smart contracts and decentralized applications, and it has gained popularity among enterprise clients due to its scalability and security features.

However, on March 10, 2023, the Hedera team confirmed a smart contract exploit on its mainnet that led to the theft of several liquidity pool tokens. The attack targeted liquidity pool tokens on decentralized exchanges (DEXs) that use code derived from Uniswap v2 on Ethereum, which was ported over for use on the Hedera Token Service.

The attack vector is believed to have come from the process of converting Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)-compatible smart contract code onto the Hedera Token Service (HTS). As part of this process, Ethereum contract bytecode is decompiled to the HTS. The Hedera-based DEX SaucerSwap believes that this is where the attack vector came from, but Hedera has not confirmed this.

The suspicious activity was detected when the attacker attempted to move the stolen tokens across the Hashport bridge, which consists of liquidity pool tokens on SaucerSwap, Pangolin, and HeliSwap. Operators acted promptly to temporarily pause the bridge, preventing the attacker from moving the stolen tokens further.

Hedera has not confirmed the exact amount of tokens that were stolen, but the team is working on a solution to remove the vulnerability. On March 9, Hedera managed to shut down network access by turning off IP proxies, and it has since identified the “root cause” of the exploit.

The solution is expected to be ready soon, and once it is, Hedera Council members will sign transactions to approve the deployment of updated code on the mainnet to remove the vulnerability. After the deployment, the mainnet proxies will be turned back on, allowing normal activity to resume.

In the meantime, Hedera has suggested that tokenholders check the balances on their account ID and Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) address on hashscan.io for their own “comfort.” The price of the network’s token, Hedera (HBAR), has fallen 7% since the incident, in line with the broader market fall over the last 24 hours.

The incident highlights the risks of smart contract exploits on blockchain networks and the importance of security measures to prevent such attacks. Hedera’s response to the exploit has been swift and proactive, and it is working to restore the network’s security and functionality as soon as possible.

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Abrdn Joins Hedera Governing Council after Archax Investment

Legacy investment management firm, Abrdn has joined the Hedera Governing Council as it looks to deepen its foothold in the digital currency and blockchain ecosystem.

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According to Duncan Moir, senior investment manager at Abrdn, who spoke in an interview with the Block, the firm is focused on tokenization as it wants to explore new trading capabilities for its investors. 

As a member of the Hedera Governing Council, Abrdn will join the likes of DBS, Google, IBM and Standard Chartered, amongst others, to run nodes for the Hedera protocol and shape the future of the protocol by being a part of its decision-making process. Abrdn was integrated as a governing council member based on its significant interest and belief that blockchain is the next frontier in tech.

“We’re really long-term investors,” Moir, senior investment manager at Abrdn, said in the interview. “We see this as being a very long-term story for us and for the industry.” 

Blockchain technology is most renowned as a revolutionary tool to revamp the investment world. Moir is confident in the enterprise’s capabilities of the Hedera protocol and is ready to explore its capabilities to meet its long-term goals.

“I don’t think anybody is really, let’s say, full service. They’re very much focused on specific things, and they’ve been dipping their toes in,” Moir said of the capabilities of the blockchain-linked solution. “We want to go about it a bit more comprehensively.”

The choice of Hedera as the base protocol to advance its push is hinged on the sustainability of the protocol. Notably, Hedera Hashgraph was rated as the most sustainable protocol ahead of Algorand, Cardano, and Ethereum by researchers at the University College London (UCL).

While Hedera has made a name for itself in the enterprise world, it will need much more integrations like that being offered by Abrdn.

Image source: Shutterstock

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Gaming Giant Ubisoft Dives Further Into Crypto With Hedera Network

In brief

  • Video game publisher Ubisoft has agreed to enter the Hedera ecosystem.
  • Ubisoft will join Hedera’s Governing Council, run a node, and implement a Hedera track into its Entrepreneurs Lab program.

Ubisoft’s recent move to launch Tezos-powered in-game NFT items to its games might have been met with pushback from gamers—like many recent gaming-centric NFT projects—but that isn’t stopping the publisher from making more moves in the crypto industry.

Today, the firm announced that it has entered into an agreement with The HBAR Foundation to support the growth of the Hedera network. Ubisoft will join the Hedera Governing Council and have a say in the future of the network, as well as operate a node as it explores Hedera’s distributed ledger technology.

Ubisoft will also implement a Hedera track into its Entrepreneurs Lab initiative, which sees the publisher work with an array of startups—primarily in the crypto and blockchain space—via resources and mentorship. Past participants include eventual NFT gaming successes like Axie Infinity and Sorare.

While Ubisoft’s entry into the Hedera ecosystem doesn’t have an immediate, tangible result in terms of a game or project, it’s worth noting that the publisher became a Tezos network validator in April 2021. Eight months later, Ubisoft revealed plans to release in-game items for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint as Tezos-based NFTs.

Didier Genevois, blockchain technical director at the Ubisoft Strategic Innovation Lab, told Decrypt that the publisher is “just starting our exploration” of the Hedera ecosystem. Still, he sees potential benefits for players as the Hedera network—which today launched its second-generation smart contracts—evolves and expands.

“The Hedera network’s scalability, energy efficiency, and innovative consensus mechanism—coupled with a Governing Council made up of so many successful companies—could really open up opportunities for the gaming industry to start building games at scale with the proper use cases and in a safe and compliant environment,” said Genevois.

Hedera is a distributed network that uses a hashgraph consensus mechanism, which is different from a blockchain, to secure and maintain its network. Still, it employs a native cryptocurrency, HBAR, and is part of the larger ecosystem of decentralized Web3 technologies that some proponents believe will significantly impact the video game industry via true asset ownership, potential NFT interoperability, and more.

“At Ubisoft, we believe that distributed ledger technology holds a key to the future of gaming by opening new opportunities for players to become true stakeholders of our games,” Genevois said.

Ubisoft explored the blockchain space for years before announcing its Ubisoft Quartz in-game item platform with Tezos. It was the first traditional game publisher to experiment with NFT games and publicly support crypto industry startups and projects.

The publisher first developed a Minecraft-inspired prototype called HashCraft in 2018, and later launched a Rabbids-based NFT project in 2020, plus a Sorare spinoff called One Shot League in early 2021. Ubisoft also supported projects such as Axie Infinity’s Ronin sidechain for Ethereum, Planetarium’s Nine Chronicles game, and the EOS-based Ultra game marketplace.

In October 2021, Ubisoft was announced as an investor in Animoca Brands, an NFT game publisher and investor in metaverse startups. Ubisoft and Animoca plan to co-develop NFT game projects, as well. An NFT acts like a deed of ownership to a digital item, whether it’s artwork, video files, or an interactive object within a video game.

Now Hedera has joined Ubisoft’s long list of crypto industry endeavors. Alex Russman, The HBAR Foundation’s director of its Consumer Engagement Fund, pointed to the game publisher’s experience in the space as evidence of the impact it could bring as Hedera tries to make its platform a compelling choice for game developers.

“Ubisoft has established itself as a pioneer in distributed ledger technology gaming, and an industry leader in identifying innovative projects and startups,” Russman told Decrypt. “It is this strategic insight that The HBAR Foundation is now empowered to deploy in aid of enhancing the Hedera ecosystem.”

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Closely Followed Trader Says Bitcoin (BTC) Relief Rally Likely, Highlights What’s Next for Curve (CRV)

One popular crypto analyst thinks Bitcoin (BTC) is on the verge of a rebound while plotting paths for two altcoins.

The pseudonymous analyst known as Credible Crypto tells his 300,700 Twitter followers that BTC might hit one more local low before surging back to $40,000 “in the coming days.”

Then comes the big monthly close.”

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Source: CredibleCrypto/Twitter

Bitcoin is trading at $36,833.16 at time of writing, up 0.33% in the past 24 hours.

Credible Crypto also expects the decentralized finance (DeFi) altcoin Curve DAO Token (CRV) to rebound.

“Repeated sweeps of our lows into weekly demand/support is nice to see. We have just printed a classic bullish div on the daily, would expect to see relief to $4-$4.50 soon.

That is also the region that we MUST reclaim to confirm that our bottom is in.”

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Source: CredibleCrypto/Twitter

CRV is the governance token of stablecoin-focused decentralized exchange Curve Finance. The 85th-ranked crypto asset by market cap is trading at $2.90 at time of writing, down nearly 3% in the past 24 hours.

Credible Crypto notes that HBAR, the native token for the decentralized public network Hedera Hashgraph, has displayed some interesting price action like CRV.

“HBAR on its first major breakout from its own accumulation range (like CRV). We broke out and hit .07 then immediately dumped back to .03 before going 11x.

Crypto is volatile. If you’ve been here for a few months you know this.

If you can’t handle volatility, don’t buy crypto.”

HBAR, the 35th-ranked crypto asset by market cap, is trading at $0.210971 at time of writing.

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Hedera Governing Council to buy hashgraph IP, and open-source projects code

The Hedera Governing Council has officially voted to purchase the intellectual property rights to the hashgraph consensus algorithm from founding architect and inaugural member of the council, Swirlds Inc, for an undisclosed fee.

A Jan. 19 announcement also details plans to transition their code to an open-source model this year under Apache 2.0 license, in addition to transferring core team members such as CEO Mance Harmon and chief scientist Dr. Leemon Baird from Hedera to Swirlds Inc. as the CEO and CTO respectively, and deploying community staking and node opportunities, among other updates.

Hedera Hashgraph is an enterprise-grade distributed ledger technology designed to create decentralized applications in the Web3 sphere.

It’s governing council is composed of 39 corporations including Google, IBM, Tata Communications and Boeing, who each support the project’s decentralized ambitions through the establishment and operation of blockchain nodes, and participating in governance voting, among other duties.

Hedera’s evolution to an open-source technology differs from their current model of open-review, in which the code appears as publicly visible, but is not accessible for editing or developmental purposes by the global community.

The decision to enact this change came about following conclusive technical assessments that the probability of a network split within the Hedera ecosystem is highly unlikely, and therefore the patent upholding legislative exclusivity to the technology can be safely distributed into the public domain, with assurances that it will not serve as an advantageous tool for market competitors, but rather a mechanism to foster internal growth.

Baird, the newly appointed CTO of Swirlds, and co-chair of the Hedera Council’s Technical Steering and Product Committee, said:

“From day one, I have had a vision to enable ‘Shared Worlds’, where anyone can gather, collaborate, conduct commerce, and control their own online footprint.

Baird also noted that the next challenge for Hedera is to expand from a Layer 1 protocol “to deliver products and services that enable others to leverage the power of the Layer 1 protocol to create value.”

Harmon and Baird, among others are scheduled to host a YouTube webinar at 11 a.m. ET today to discuss the Shared Worlds initiative in further detail, alongside developments over the coming months.

From a technical perspective, Hedera’s native token, HBAR has largely consolidated in the $0.33 to $0.25 price range since the turn of the year, currently valued at $0.257.

Related: UK air traffic tech firm uses Hedera Hashgraph to track drones

Earlier this month, Hedera partnered with London-based tech firm, Neuron Innovations on a drone initiative designed to collate and store quantitative data metrics on an array of sectors including commercial and military aviation, as well as government initiatives.

Supported by the United Kingdom’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the pilot scheme — conducted in April and October 2021 — is expected to support the adoption of drones into the existing air traffic transportation system.