Not long after dropping out of college to pursue a career in cryptocurrencies, Ben Weintraub woke up to some bad news. Mr. Weintraub and two classmates from the University of Chicago had spent the past few months working on a software platform called Beanstalk, which offered a stablecoin, a type of cryptocurrency with a fixed value of $1. To their surprise, Beanstalk became an overnight sensation, attracting crypto speculators who viewed it as an exciting contribution to the experimental field of decentralized finance, or DeFi. Then it collapsed. In April, a hacker exploited a flaw in Beanstalk’s design to steal more than $180 million from users, one of a series of thefts this year targeting DeFi ventures. The morning of the hack, Mr. Weintraub, 24, was home for Passover in Montclair, N.J. He walked into his parents’ bedroom. “Wake up,” he said. “Beanstalk is dead.” Hackers have terrorized the crypto industry for years, stealing Bitcoin from online wallets and raiding the exchanges where investors buy and sell digital currencies. But the rapid proliferation of DeFi start-ups like Beanstalk has given rise to a new type of threat.
Full opinion : The Crypto World Is on Edge After a String of Hacks.