Until now, Alex Hoffman, Head of Ecosystem at Superposition, has kept it a secret.

Until now, Alex Hoffman, head of ecosystem at Superposition, has kept secret that he is the anonymous founder of decentralized finance (DeFi) return protocol Nirvana Finance, which fell victim to a flash loan scam from $3.5 million two years ago.

He is now ready to associate his name with the name of the anonymous founder and the story of the “worst day” of his life, which began when he woke up one morning to find that all the money from Nirvana Finance had disappeared.

“Literally the week we were supposed to start the audit, we woke up to find that it had been hacked,” Hoffman told Cointelegraph in an exclusive interview, describing the morning of July 28, 2022.

“You really know who your friends are when this happens, and who they are not.”

The hunt for the Nirvana Finance hacker lasted 17 months.

It was not until December 2023, after a lengthy investigation involving blockchain investigators and multiple enforcement agencies, that software engineer Shakib Ahmed was arrested after confessing to hacking Nirvana Finance. On April 12, he was sentenced to three years in prison.

Source: Downtown Press

Hoffman explained that it took so long because Ahmed’s operation was very “complicated.” Despite blockchain investigators’ best efforts, they continue to hit “dead ends.”

Homeland Security Random Telegram

But it was a chance telegram from a U.S. Department of Homeland Security officer, who thought he had solid evidence of the exploit, linking him to the same hacker behind another recent exploit, that marked a turning point in the investigation.

“He wanted to see if the team would cooperate with them to put the case together,” Hoffman said.

Source: Nirvana Finance

Before Hoffman knew it, he spent the next few months going back and forth with the officer, other DHS officials, prosecutors, and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) investigators.

Eventually, after reviewing the transactions and comparing them to other exploits, authorities asked Hoffman to come and explain exactly how the protocol’s infrastructure worked. From there, they were able to trace the operation back to Ahmed.

Although Nirvana Finance is not open source, Hoffman explained that Ahmed discovered “a flaw in the code while looking into the system and discovering it.”

Hoffman put an end to death threats linked to this exploitation

He said it had been a very stressful 17 months for Hoffman.

Not only did he lose most of his money, which was tied to what he considered impeccable protocol, but he also feared that victims, as an anonymous founder, would assume he had “sabotaged” the project .

Source: Nirvana Finance

He wanted to beautify himself up there, and thus be able to show that the founder of the project was not the cause of the exploitation.

However, threats were already coming quickly to Nirvana Finance’s Twitter account, and he feared it would only be a matter of time before someone discovered his identity.

“I have received dozens of threats and death threats against my wife, mother and children. “It was non-stop,” Hoffman said.

Solana CEO Pushed Auditing Firms to Make Nirvana Finance a Priority

Reflecting on the rise and fall of the protocol, Hoffman said he did not expect Nirvana Finance to achieve such success so quickly.

“We launched it without thinking it would attract so much attention. “We were trying to do a soft launch,” she said, before revealing that it caught the attention of several Chinese news publications, causing the total value locked (TVL) to skyrocket. .

“It ended up bringing in about 25 million TVL in the first week,” he said.

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This spread so quickly that Solana took notice, and its CEO, Anatoly Yakovenko, personally urged him to conduct a security audit of the protocol.

Meanwhile, Hoffman was already on a waiting list to do so; Waiting lists were long among the top auditing firms.

“Anatoly personally asked one of the auditing firms if they could put us at the top of the list,” Hoffman added.

Today, Nirvana Finance remains insolvent but has a plan that is “still in the works.” In the meantime, investors should be very careful when trading Nirvana’s native token (NIRV), according to the Nirvana Finance website.

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