In a shocking turn of events, decentralized exchange (DEX) dYdX was compelled to dip into its insurance fund to cover a staggering $9 million in user liquidations on November 17. According to Antonio Juliano, the founder of dYdX, the losses incurred were a result of a meticulously orchestrated “targeted attack” against the exchange.
As reported by the dYdX team on X (formerly Twitter), the v3 insurance fund was utilized “to fill gaps on liquidations processes in the YFI market.” The Yearn.finance (YFI) token, which had experienced a remarkable 170% surge in the weeks leading up to November 17, saw a sudden 43% drop on that day, triggering concerns within the crypto community regarding a potential exit scam.
The alleged attack specifically focused on long positions in YFI tokens on the dYdX exchange, resulting in the liquidation of positions valued at nearly $38 million. Antonio Juliano expressed his belief that the trading losses affecting dYdX, coupled with the sharp decline in YFI, were a consequence of market manipulation. He stated, “This was pretty clearly a targeted attack against dYdX, including market manipulation of the entire $YFI market. We are investigating alongside several partners and will be transparent with what we discover.”
Despite the significant setback, Juliano reassured users that their funds remained untouched, emphasizing that the v3 insurance fund still holds $13.5 million. He also announced plans for a comprehensive review of risk parameters, with potential adjustments to both v3 and the dYdX Chain software.
The attack had broader implications, wiping out over $300 million in market capitalization from the YFI token. This prompted speculation within the crypto community about a potential insider job in the YFI market. Some users claimed that 50% of the YFI token supply was concentrated in 10 wallets controlled by developers. However, data from Etherscan suggested that some of these holders were associated with crypto exchange wallets.
My professional background is in public relations and I am the founder of Cryptochating. My journey into blockchain technology started four years ago, and I haven't looked back since then. The future of decentralized technology is incredibly fascinating to me, and I am passionate about communicating how it will change the world.