Web3 losses exceed $1 billion in 2023 as Base projects add to exploits in August

Quick Take

  • Web3 platforms have lost over $1.2 billion to malicious actors in 2023 so far, with more than $23 million lost in August alone due to hacks and fraud.
  • Coinbase-incubated Ethereum Layer 2 Base added significant losses across four projects since opening to the public on Aug. 9.

Web3 has witnessed losses of $1.25 billion over 211 incidents in 2023, with August accounting for $23.4 million alone as projects on the newly launched Ethereum Layer 2 Base added to major exploits.

The Coinbase-incubated Base network suffered losses across four separate projects since launching on Aug. 9, placing it alongside Ethereum and BNB Chain as one of the most targeted chains, according to the latest report from web3 bug bounty platform Immunefi

Ethereum suffered the most attacks, seeing five incidents across protocols based on the network. BNB Chain saw four incidents, as did Base with exploits at LeetSwap, SwirlLend, Magnate Finance and RocketSwap. Together, these three chains accounted for 62% of all chain losses in August.

Optimism encountered two incidents, making up 9.5% of the total losses, while Arbitrum, Solana, Avalanche, Fantom and Linea each faced a single incident, representing a combined 28.7%.

Crypto losses August 2023. Image: Immunefi.

Crypto losses August 2023. Image: Immunefi.

DeFi hacks are main cause of August losses

Hacks have consistently overshadowed fraud as the primary cause of losses. In August, hacks were responsible for a loss of nearly $15.8 million, 67.7% of the monthly total. Fraud, on the other hand, accounted for $7.6 million, or 32.3%.

DeFi platforms were the focus for all exploits in August, with centralized venues managing to steer clear of any major exploits during the period.

Immunefi says it paid out more than $80 million in bounties and saved over $25 billion in user funds across protocols like Chainlink, The Graph, Synthetix and MakerDAO. 

Last month, Immunefi said it was being spammed with ChatGPT-generated reports that now account for 21% of accounts banned, as whitehat use of the tool grows.

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