December 7, 2023

Decentralized finance, better known as DeFi, may not be “decentralized” enough as attackers exploited centralized weak points to drain users of billions of dollars in 2021, according to research from blockchain security firm CertiK. 

In a new report on the state of DeFi security in 2021, CertiK researchers said “centralization issues were the most common attack vector” within decentralized finance. The blockchain security firm cited 44 DeFi hacks totaling $1.3 billion in lost funds in 2021. That’s an increase of over $500 million compared with 2021. 

“This underscores the importance of decentralization and highlights the fact that many projects still have work to do to reach this goal,” CertiK said, adding:

“Centralization is antithetical to the ethos of DeFi and poses major security risks. Single points of failure can be exploited by dedicated hackers and malicious insiders alike.”

Research undertaken by ImmuneFi suggested that the value lost due to DeFi hacks and related scams exceeded $10 billion over the past year, revealing major discrepancies in how exploits are classified and tracked. However, most research on the matter seems to agree that security exploits targeting DeFi projects have witnessed a steep rise.

Although DeFi exploits have undermined the legitimacy of cryptocurrency markets in the eyes of traditional investors and legacy financial systems, CertiK offered a silver lining: 2021’s losses represented only 0.05% of crypto’s total market…

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