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Buggy $1B hack exposes Web3’s ‘blessings and curses’

pNetworks “Misconfiguration” of Code Pressures Gala Games Token

Cross-chain bridge provider pNetwork went into damage control after its attempt to fix a “misconfiguration” in its code for what appeared to be a $1 billion hack.

On Nov. 3, someone minted $1 billion worth of pGALA tokens and dumped them on PancakeSwap, the BNB chain’s top exchange, according to transaction data from BSC Scan. pGALA’s price plummeted 94%.


pGALA is a BNB chain-compatible version of GALA, the Ethereum-based utility token of web3 gaming network Gala Games.

pNetwork said the debacle was a major misunderstanding.

It tweeted that it intentionally minted the 28.4 billion pGALA tokens to drain the PancakeSwap pool and protect token holders after a “misconfiguration” was found in its bridge contracts.

“All GALA tokens on Ethereum as well as the underlying bridge collateral are SECURE,” said pNetwork. “We regret any inconvenience this may have caused the community and will endeavor to prevent these issues in the future.”

Not happy

Gala Games is not happy with how pNetwork handled the incident.

“We were not part of that process,” Jason Brink, the president of blockchain at Gala Games, told The Defiant. “They are operating completely independently of us… According to their tweets, they did this to cover the pool for contract redeployment.”

Brink said pNetwork did not consult its team before minting a whopping 28.4 billion GALA tokens.

Unlocked Tokens

The team will now create a new pGALA token and place it in wallets where the coins were before the incident. pNetwork has also taken a snapshot of the pGALA pool on PancakeSwap and will return both BNB and pGALA to liquidity providers.

pNetwork issues pGALA on BNB Chain when a user locks their GALA token in their bridge contract. The pGALA tokens are then destroyed when the user wants to migrate their assets back to the Gala network, which unlocks their GALA tokens on Ethereum.

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Gala’s Brink said the episode shows the vulnerabilities of blockchain-based businesses. “One of the downsides of crypto and Web3 in general is that people can launch these external services over which they have little or no control,” he said. “It’s both a blessing and a curse.”

The Ethereum-based GALA token lost up to a quarter of its value immediately after the incident before recovering to a 12.5% ​​drop.

One of the downsides of crypto and Web3 in general is that people can set up these external services over which you have little or no control. This is both a blessing and a curse.

Jason Brink

pNetwork warned that the new pGALA is not live yet and that scammers may try to take advantage of the incident by issuing fake tokens. It also urged opportunists not to buy old and deprecated pGALA tokens from PancakeSwap to try to settle it with GALA.

“Newly purchased pGALA on Pancakeswap cannot be redeemed 1:1 for pGALA,” pNetwork said. “We’re trying to empty pGALA PancakeSwap’s pool so please stop buying as this will only slow down the recovery process for everyone… Anyone who buys from PancakeSwap now risks losing everything as their newly purchased pGALA are non-redeemable ( therefore worthless).”

PancakeSwap is the #2 DEX by 24-hour trading volume, according to CoinGecko, with $296 million. The exchange accounts for 54% of BNB Chain’s $6 billion TVL.

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