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Harmony announces a $1 million bounty for Horizon bridge stolen funds recovery


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Harmony network on June 24 revealed a hacker had exploited its horizon bridge and made away with $100 million. The Layer-1 blockchain, however, announced on June 26 that it is offering a $1 million bounty for its recovery.

This announcement follows a similar pattern adopted by crypto institutions that suffer exploits to attempt a recovery of stolen funds.

Harmony earlier stated that it had “begun working with national authorities and forensic specialists to identify the culprit and retrieve the stolen funds.”

The announcement of the bounty is perhaps a further attempt to encourage the hacker to return the proceeds of the exploit. However, Harmony stated that it “will advocate for no criminal charges when funds are returned.”

Is recovery possible?

The Horizon bridge attack adds to a growing list of cross-chain bridges in 2022 and is one of the biggest yet. However, the all-important question remains whether Harmony could recover the stolen funds.

Earlier in June, Optimism Foundation was able to recover funds stolen in a hack that led to the loss of 20 million Optimism (OP) tokens.  The Foundation revealed the hacker to be a whitehat, an ethical security hacker. Additionally, the hacker kept 2 million tokens as a bounty.

Likewise, Poly Network suffered a $610 million exploit in August 2021 and it announced a $500,000 bounty for its recovery.  As was in Optimism’s case, the hacker returned the stolen and even scored a job offer from Poly Network.

On the other hand, cross-chain bridges, Wormhole and Ronin, were not able to recover the proceeds of exploits on their bridges.

Meanwhile, Harmony’s native ONE token slumped on the news of the hack but has slightly recovered. According to CoinMarketCap, the token is now trading at $0.024, a 0.30% increase in the last 24 hours.

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