Decentralized finance (DeFi) security platform Immunefi has announced a $5.5 million fundraise from a group of 11 institutional investors, including Blueprint Forest, Electric Capital, Framework Ventures and Bitscale Capital, in addition to a series of private individuals.
Immunefi will utilize the funds to advance its services in DeFi security, providing asset protection to smart contract protocols, as well as implementing financial incentives to benevolent hackers.
The service is reportedly responsible for protecting more than $50 billion in protocol assets from projects such as Synthetix, Chainlink, SushiSwap and PancakeSwap. It has paid out $7.5 million in bug bounties throughout its history.
According to analytical data from DeFiYield’s “REKT Database,” the DeFi space has experienced malicious hacks totaling more than $1.74 billion throughout its lifespan, a vast proportion of which has been witnessed in the months since July 2021.
The $609-million hack of cross-chain protocol Poly Network in early August 2021 bears the undesirable crown for the industry’s largest-ever hack. However, in welcomely unusual circumstances, Mr. White Hat — as they came to be known — returned all of the available funds, the remaining balance being the $33 million in Tether (USDT) initially frozen.
Over the past year, the prevalence and severity of financial breaches within the DeFi space have established a surging demand for security services such as Immunefi.
Mitchell Amador, founder and CEO of Immunefi, spoke on the importance of offering DeFi protective measures:
“DeFi is unique because vulnerabilities in code represent a possibility of a direct loss of users’ money. Bug bounty programs are open invitations to security researchers to find those vulnerabilities in exchange for a reward, and have proved one of the most effective ways to deal with critical security holes.”
In late September, a $1.05 million bug bounty fee was paid to renowned white hat programmer Alexander Schlindwein in the aftermath of the Belt Finance saga for his instrumental role in preventing a potential $10 million downfall for the protocol. The claim was facilitated through Immunefi’s specialist bounty program.
More recently, white hat hacker Gerhard Wagner pocketed a cool $2 million for diligently advising a solution to a “double-spend” flaw on the Polygon network, preventing a potentially catastrophic $850 million exploit, with the bounty now standing as an industry record.
Immunefi’s Amador also commented on the potential impact a service such as Immunefi could have on the wider technology landscape:
“We believe that by helping launch such programs on Immunefi, we contribute not only to protecting DeFi projects for today, but also to shaping the tech industry for the future.”