Saber (SBR) developer created 11 fake profiles to manipulate TVL

The Macalinao brothers, who founded the stablecoin protocol Saber (SBR), allegedly used fake developer profiles to fake the Total Value Locked (TVL) on Solana’s DeFi (SOL). Indeed, Ian Macalinao would have created several protocols used in symbiosis with Saber, pretending to be 11 different developers.

The Macalinao brothers fake Solana’s TVL thanks to Saber

Our colleagues at CoinDesk have conducted an investigation in which they own that the main developer of the protocol Saber (SBR) used fake profiles to distort the total value locked on Solana (SOL). For this he would have worked under 11 pseudonyms, in order to impersonate different developers. In doing so, he created other protocols to interlock with Saber.

The developer in question is Ian Macalinao, who created Saber with his brother Dylan. This protocol is focused on the exchange of stablecoins and at its peak it appears with Sunny Aggregator (SUNNY) 7.5 billion of Solana’s $10.5 billion TVL according to CoinDesk.

Sunny is actually another decentralized finance (DeFi) app built by Ian Macalinao. This is used in complementarity of Saber and reached $3.4 billion in TVL within two weeks of existence. The diagram below helps to understand how the value blocked on Solana’s DeFi could have been distorted thanks to Saber:

Diagram of an interaction between two DeFi applications

Let’s imagine a user deposits $1000 in protocol A. By doing this, he will be provided with tokens representing proof of deposit. Applications can then optimize the perceived return by encouraging investors to come and deposit these LP tokens with them.

In this example, we end up with $1,000 on protocol A and another $1,000 on protocol B, when there was no only one original contribution.

👉 To go longer – our Find presentation of Solana (SOL)

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An unpublished blog post

The principle described above is not a secret in itself and is common to all decentralized finance in general. Indeed, it is common that a new application arrives on the market to come in optimize anotherthen plan a protocol overlay.

The difference here is that it was done knowingly for the purpose of manipulate statistics. A TVL is indeed high one of the criteria to watch in the choice of its investments. Ian Macalinao is said to have described the process in a blog post which has never been posted:

“I designed a scheme to optimize Solana’s TVL: I created protocols that stacked on top of each other, so that a dollar could be counted multiple times. […] If the same team built every protocol, TVL would be a dumber metric. Thus, I created more anonymous profiles. […] I wanted to give the impression that a lot of people relied on our protocol […]. »

This revelation leads to serious reflections on drifts that can intervene in decentralized finance. These are elements to keep in mind if you are interested in an uplink protocol. too fast, too high.

These allegations are all the more serious, as Cashio (CASH), a stablecoin project that has been the victim of a hack to the tune of $52 million last March, was also part of the process.

For the moment, the two brothers seem to be interested in the nascent ecosystem of Aptos, if we are to believe the Twitter profile of Dylan Macalinao. This story must now challenge us as investors, in order to incentive to dig always more in our research.

👉 Also in the news – NEAR Protocol reveals it leaked some of its user data last June

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Source: CoinDesk

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