dYdX attacked, draining 40% of its insurance fund

November 20, 2023

dYdX experienced an unusual increase in open interest for YFI leading to huge sell-off.

Image version
Text version

GM 👋

Over the weekend, Sam Altman went from getting fired from OpenAI to working with Microsoft, OpenAI’s largest investor.

Sam Altman is arguably the face of AI. OpenAI board’s decision to fire Sam and demote Chairman and President Greg Brockman (which led to Brockman's resignation) came abruptly, without their investors’ knowledge.

New interim CEO, Mira Murati and core team members also supported Sam.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO was furious and offered his support by hiring him to their “Advanced AI Research Team“.

Legally, Microsoft has rights to access all of GPT-4 and DALL E 3’s code and IP which is stored on Microsoft Azure.

Seems like Sam and the team will start their work at Microsoft from where they left off at OpenAI.

Major win for Microsoft!

Matt & Vineet

PS: Pay forward by sharing this newsletter with at least 1 friend. 🤝

💥 Explore BoomFi: The 'Stripe' for Web3 Startups

BoomFi is an all-in-one payments solution for web3 startups, combining crypto and traditional payments in one seamless experience. Accept a range of payments, from crypto to cards, through our user-friendly interface reminiscent of your favourite Web 2.0 platforms.

On and Off Ramp effortlessly. We support USD, GBP, and EUR with transparent pricing!

Efficient crypto bulk payouts? Do it instantly with a simple CSV upload.

🎁 Exclusive Offer:

Start using BoomFi and process up to $10,000 with no fees! Sign up now: www.boomfi.xyz/signup.

Sign up for FREE

dYdX Faces Market Manipulation Attack

The decentralized exchange dYdX recently found itself at the center of a market manipulation attack, leading to significant liquidations and a substantial dip in its insurance fund.

Here's a breakdown of the key events and responses:

The Attack

dYdX experienced an unusual increase in open interest (buys and sells) for YFI, the native token of Yearn Finance, soaring from $0.8 million to about $67 million.

YFI traded at a significantly higher rate on dYdX compared to other platforms.

Approximately $9 million from dYdX v3's insurance fund, about 40% of its total, was deployed to manage the liquidations.

The Response

dYdX raised the initial margin ratios for YFI and other less liquid markets as an immediate response.

Following the attack, YFI's price plunged by 35% within an hour.

A whale reportedly sold 96 YFI for around $1.23 million in ether before the token's value dropped.

dYdX is collaborating with centralized exchanges to investigate further and has announced bounties for helpful information.

The team is reporting their findings to the FBI and making strides in identifying the attacker.

After addressing the shortfall, $13.5 million remains in the insurance fund. No user funds were impacted by the attack.

The DYDX token dropped 15% in 48 hours, while YFI fell 38%.


The handling of the incident by dYdX has raised questions about its decentralized nature.

The attack happened on dYdX v3, which had a centralized order book and matching system, differing from the new dYdX chain with distinct risk controls.

Some community members and industry leaders criticized dYdX for its approach, suggesting a lack of true decentralization in its decision-making processes.

The attack comes amidst dYdX’s migration from Ethereum Layer 2 to its own Cosmos-based chain.

The introduction of a staking mechanism redistributing trading fees to DYDX stakers had previously fueled a significant rally in the token’s value.

This incident highlights the challenges decentralized exchanges face in maintaining security and stability, particularly when dealing with sophisticated market manipulation tactics.

Saga Multiverse: $5M

Saga is more than your own dedicated and configurable blockchain - it’s a vibrant community where innovators are collaborating, learning, sharing, and creating the future together. Welcome to Saga, welcome to the Multiverse.


Sleek: $5M

Web3 Networking tool powered with NFC, Telegram Bot, and more



Community Highlight

Join the Smoothie Newsletter

This is a special newsletter. Every week, we deconstruct the best crypto trends and share those insights with you.