Maker of first Ethereum Wallet Taylor Monahan Explains $10M Hack and How to Stay Safe in Crypto

The Defiant


Taylor Monahan is the founder of MyCrypto, an Ethereum wallet, and today she’s helping build MetaMask. As part of her job, she has become a full-time blockchain detective. She’s also a character in my book, The Infinite Machine!

Taylor is the first one who alerted us to the fact that in the past several months, a mysterious hack has taken over crypto wallets, draining $10 million worth of ether from OGs in the space.

We begin our conversation with Taylor breaking down the hack from the beginning and also the latest in this saga. Then we go over her own, long history in the space, she gives risk management advice for crypto users and developers, and ponders some deep questions on whether code is law and whether DeFi should really be immutable.

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7 Key TakeawaysTaylor Monahan, founder of MyCrypto and part of the MetaMask team, has been investigating a sophisticated hack that has drained $10 million worth of Ether from crypto wallets.

  1. The hacker is believed to be part of an organized group and has compromised the seed phrases of at least 300 victims.
  2. LastPass, a popular password manager, was breached in 2020, and many of the compromised individuals in this hack had stored their secret recovery phrases or multiple keys and secret recovery phrases all in LastPass.
  3. The crypto ecosystem has become more vigilant in stopping stolen funds, with more assets being frozen.
  4. Taylor believes the argument that "code is law" is absurd and theft is wrong, and society should punish thieves.
  5. Developers who give themselves "God mode" should take responsibility for their creations and recover funds for rightful owners if necessary.
  6. The crypto space is not yet ready for mainstream adoption, as there is still much work to be done to make it safer and more accessible.


  • 00:00 Intro
  • 00:51 Cryptocurrency Wallet Hackers: An Organized and Sophisticated Operation
  • 12:58 Taylor’s Background
  • 26:19 The "Code is Law" Argument
  • 35:01 Why Mainstream Adoption Is Not Yet Feasible
  • 38:24 Advice for Crypto Users and Developers
  • 48:53 Account Abstraction and Authorization Levels
  • 53:49 Crypto and User Behavior: Adapting to Change and Empowering Users


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