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Crypto exchange hacker nets $114m but returns $67m to pay back mango markets customers

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A hacker has returned $67 million (£59m) acquired from a crypto platform but kept $47m after claiming that his actions were legal.

Mango Markets suffered an exploit, whereby the value of its mango token was artificially inflated to be able to then drain money from the favored exchange.

Avraham Eisenberg, who claims to be a part of a bunch that carried it out, said the gains were a part of a “highly profitable trading strategy”, though offered to return a number of the funds after customers were unable to access their holdings.

The hacker, who describes himself as a digital art dealer, released a press release on Twitter explaining why he returned greater than half of the cash.

“I feel all of our actions were legal open market actions, using the protocol as designed, even when the event team didn’t fully anticipate all the results of setting parameters the best way they’re,” he wrote.

“Unfortunately, the exchange this took place on, Mango Markets, became insolvent in consequence, with the insurance fund being insufficient to cover all liquidations. This led to other users being unable to access their funds.”

The hacker claimed that negotiations with the Mango Market’s insurance fund meant that no user funds can be impacted by his actions.

The Mango Markets community voted for Mr Eisenberg to maintain $47m if he returned $67m to be able to cover their deposits. In return, users agreed to not pursue any legal motion.

“All Mango depositors can be made whole,” a community post stated.

“By voting for this proposal, mango token holders comply with repay the bad debt with the treasury, and waive any potential claims against accounts with bad debt, and is not going to pursue any criminal investigation or freezing of funds once the token are sent back as described above.”

Some users objected to the deal, noting that the quantity awarded was much higher than a bug bounty would have been if the exploit had been reported relatively than carried out.

“We should always give him less of a bounty because he’s a criminal in no position to barter anymore,” one user wrote.

One other remarked: “I vote yes because the proposal puts the users – and their funds – first, nonetheless, with the Treasury mostly depleted, there are actually serious concerns on the continuity of the project… How will founders give you the chance to proceed constructing Mango with near zero funds.”

Mango Markets confirmed over the weekend that “$67m in various crypto assets” had been returned, adding that it could be meeting on Monday to debate next steps.

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