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Ethereum-Based Decentralized Exchange dYdX Suffers $9,000,000 Loss in an Alleged ‘Market Manipulation Attempt’

An Ethereum-based (ETH) decentralized exchange (DEX) has suffered millions of dollars in losses after an alleged market manipulation attempt by a rogue user.

In a new thread on the social media platform X, the DEX protocol dYdX says that $9 million from its insurance fund was used to fill gaps in liquidations processed in the recent yearn.finance (YFI) correction but notes that no customer funds were affected.

“Last night about $9 million from the dYdX v3 insurance fund was used to fill gaps on liquidations processed in the YFI market. The v3 insurance fund remains well funded with $13.5 million in funds remaining. No user funds were affected and our team is working to investigate the event.”

According to dYdX founder Antonio Juliano, the events that led to the $9 million loss were likely staged by a deep-pocketed bad actor.

“Basically all of this was driven [by] one actor (traceable through on-chain fund movements)…

The actor was able to withdraw a good amount of USDC from dYdX right before the price crash. The YFI price crash in the spot market seems like an intentional effort by a single actor (unsure whether the same or different one) to target the large OI (open interest) on dYdX…

This information strongly makes me think this was an intentional market manipulation attempt by a well-capitalized actor(s) designed to drain funds from the dYdX insurance pool.”

The DEX protocol says it is now widening its margin requirements for its more illiquid trading pairs.

“As an immediate measure, we have increased initial margin requirements for less liquid markets: EOS, ZRX, AAVE, ALGO, ICP, XMR, XTZ, ZEC, SUSHI, RUNE, SNX, ENJ, 1INCH, CELO, YFI, UMA, SUSHI. We will continue to monitor, but believe this to be an important first step.”

dYdX is trading for $3.26 at time of writing.

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