JPEG’d confirms return of 5,495 ETH from Curve hacker.

JPEG'd confirms return of 5,495 ETH from Curve hacker.

The White-Hat Rescue: How Blockchain Technology Thwarts Hackers and Recovers Stolen Funds

In the fast-paced world of cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance (DeFi), security vulnerabilities are an ever-present concern. However, the blockchain industry continues to evolve and respond with innovative solutions to maintain the integrity of the ecosystem. Just recently, one such solution, a nonfungible token finance (NFT-Fi) protocol called JPEG’d, experienced a major hack. But in a remarkable turn of events, the hacker returned the stolen funds, thanks to the implementation of blockchain technology.

The JPEG’d Hack and the White-Hat Bounty

JPEG’d, a decentralized lending protocol that allows users to borrow funds against their collateralized NFTs, fell victim to a significant hack on July 30. The exploit resulted in a loss of approximately $11.6 million worth of crypto. However, the story took an unexpected twist when the hacker decided to return the stolen funds.

The hacker returned a total of 5,495 Ether (ETH), equivalent to roughly $10 million at current prices, to the JPEG’d decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) multisig wallet address. In exchange for this act of goodwill, the hacker was awarded a 610.6 ETH ($1.1 million) bounty. This white-hat rescue operation demonstrates the power of community and the effectiveness of implementing incentives within blockchain networks.

The JPEG’d DAO’s Response

The JPEG’d team expressed their gratitude for the return of the stolen funds, considering the occurrence as a white-hat rescue. In a Twitter thread on August 4, the JPEG’d team confirmed the receipt of the returned funds and announced the closure of any further investigations or legal matters against the hacker.

This incident sheds light on the decentralized nature of blockchain technology. Instead of relying solely on legal measures and external authorities, blockchain protocols can leverage the power of their communities and establish bounties to incentivize the return of stolen funds. The concept of white-hat rescues creates an environment where hackers can contribute positively to the ecosystem rather than causing irreparable damage.

The DeFi Ecosystem and Recent Exploits

The decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem has gained significant traction in recent years due to its potential to revolutionize traditional financial systems. However, this increased popularity has also made DeFi a prime target for hackers. One of the most notable recent exploits targeted Curve Finance, a prominent DeFi platform offering liquidity pools.

The hacker uncovered a security vulnerability in the Vyper smart contract programming language used in Curve Finance’s pools. As a result, the hacker managed to drain several of these liquidity pools, resulting in an estimated loss of around $70 million worth of crypto. Other projects within the DeFi ecosystem, including Ellipsis, Alchemix, and the aforementioned JPEG’d, also suffered substantial losses.

The exploit not only impacted the stolen assets but also had cascading effects on the projects’ reputation and overall trust in the DeFi ecosystem. However, the response from the affected projects and the wider blockchain community showcases the resiliency and determination to combat these threats together.

The White-Hat Bounty Initiative

To recover the stolen funds and incentivize the hacker to return them, Curve Finance, Metronome, and Alchemix collaborated and presented an initiative on August 3. They offered the hacker a 10% bounty and pledged not to pursue any legal action if the remaining 90% of the stolen funds were returned.

To the relief of the affected projects, the hacker accepted the deal in less than 24 hours. Subsequently, the hacker began returning the stolen funds to the various projects. As part of this process, Alchemix Finance received 4,820.55 ETH (alETH), equivalent to approximately $8.8 million, while Curve Finance received 1 ETH ($1,829).

This coordinated effort between projects affected by the hack not only showcases the collaborative nature of the blockchain industry but also highlights the power of transparency and accountability. By offering a white-hat bounty, the communities involved aimed to foster an environment where hackers can choose a path that benefits the ecosystem rather than causing harm.


The recent hack on the JPEG’d protocol and the subsequent return of the stolen funds by the hacker highlight the effectiveness of blockchain technology in combating security breaches. Through the implementation of white-hat rescue initiatives and the utilization of decentralized networks, the blockchain industry continues to evolve and adapt to emerging threats.

The DeFi ecosystem, despite its vulnerabilities, remains resilient and demonstrates its commitment to security and user protection. By leveraging the power of blockchain, projects within the ecosystem can actively address challenges and recover stolen funds through community-driven solutions.

As the blockchain industry progresses, incidents like the JPEG’d hack and subsequent resolution serve as valuable learning experiences. The journey towards a secure and robust blockchain ecosystem requires constant collaboration, innovation, and a firm commitment to trust. With each challenge overcome, the blockchain industry moves closer to mass adoption and a more secure future.