Harmony hack: Horizon team slammed for ‘insulting’ $1m reward

Layer-1 blockchain project criticised for offering paltry bounty to recover lost funds

A hacker stealing crypto cash                                 
Harmony has pledged not to pursue criminal charges – Photo:Shutterstock
                                

The team behind the Harmony Layer 1 blockchain project has offered a $1m bounty for the recovery of the $100m (£81m) stolen from the Horizon bridge last week. 

“We commit a $1m bounty for the return of Horizon bridge funds and sharing exploit information,” said Harmony in a tweet.  The firm also pledged that it would not be pressing criminal charges when the funds are returned. 

This prompted popular anonymous crypto commentator DegenSpartan to dismiss it as an “insulting” bounty in a tweet.  

Harmony is a proof-of-stake blockchain, with the Horizon bridge allowing users to send assets from one blockchain to another. Through this, users can transfer assets between Harmony’s network to the Bitcoin, Ethereum and Binance blockchains.

Harmony hacked

On Thursday, hackers stole $100m in Wrapped Ethereum, SUSHI, DAI, USDT, USDC and AAVE and then swapped them for Ethereum. 

Within a day, Harmony said it had identified the address of the hacker and had “begun working with national authorities and forensic specialists to identify the culprit and retrieve the stolen funds”.

Harmony founder Stephen Tse maintained that the firm had found no evidence of any vulnerability on the Horizon platform or insecurity of the consensus layer of the Harmony blockchain. 

Instead, he pointed to evidence that private keys had been compromised, leading to the breach of the Horizon bridge. 

Bounty 

Harmony’s bounty offer of 1% of the funds stolen has surprised some in the crypto asset space because other recently hacked firms have offered far greater rewards. When it was hacked in April, Beanstalk Finance, for example, offered 10% of the total exploited funds. 

In response, one popular anonymous crypto commentator, DegenSpartan, tweeted: “Imagine losing 100m and thinking you’re in a position to lowball for a 1% bounty. In my worthless opinion, these people are just doing performance art to mitigate legal liability.”

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