In the world of decentralized finance (DeFi), the month of April witnessed hacks, exploits, and rug pulls that resulted in a net loss of over $100 million among various DeFi protocols. Among the affected was Level Finance, which fell prey to an exploit leading to the loss of nearly $1 million. The attacker exploited a “claim multiple” bug in a Level Finance smart contract, stealing over 214,000 native LVL tokens. DeFi enthusiasts must take a step back and analyze the risks involved with ever-increasing memecoin frenzy.
However, even in the face of these security concerns, the DeFi space saw some impressive changes. In particular, the volume of liquid staking protocols has surged in recent weeks, surpassing that of decentralized exchanges (DEXs). From April 13 to May 1, the total value locked (TVL) in DEXs dipped by $1.66 billion, while TVL in liquid staking protocols rose by $280 million.
DefiLlama, a prominent crypto analytics platform, reports that liquid staking solutions like Lido and Rocket Pool now boast a higher TVL than DEXs, making them the leading category of DeFi protocols. It is interesting to note that liquid staking protocols only recently claimed this top spot; on April 13, the TVL in liquid staking contracts was $17.19 billion, compared to $18.89 billion in DEXs. However, as DEXs witnessed a $1.66 billion decline, liquid staking solutions experienced a $280 million increase, bringing their TVL to $17.47 billion.
In April, crypto security and auditing firm CertiK published a roundup of crypto exploits, revealing a total of $103.7 million in funds lost, increasing the year-to-date losses for the crypto sector to $429.7 million. Among these incidents were the $25.4 million loss from an exploit of maximal extractable value trading bots on April 3, a $22 million hot wallet exploit at the Bitrue exchange, and a $13 million hack on the South Korean GDAC exchange.
It is crucial to address these security breaches and growing concerns around the DeFi market. Despite the risks, DeFi’s total market value witnessed a minor increase in the previous week. Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView indicates that DeFi’s top 100 tokens by market capitalization experienced a mixed week, with most tokens trading in the red. The total value locked in DeFi protocols ultimately stood at just over $50 billion.
As we delve deeper into the DeFi world, enthusiasts, investors, and developers must weigh the benefits and risks of liquid staking protocols and DEXs, while also finding ways to tackle security vulnerabilities in the crypto market. Only then can the true potential of DeFi be realized and embraced by a larger audience.