CoinDesk has learned who Surya was: Ian Macalinao, the chief architect of Saber, a stablecoin exchange built on top of Solana. In turn, he built Sunny Aggregator on top of Saber. And that’s just the top of the pile. Coding as 11 purportedly independent developers, Ian, a 20-something computer wiz from Texas, created a vast web of interlocking DeFi protocols that projected billions of dollars of double-counted value onto the Saber ecosystem. That temporarily inflated the total value locked (TVL) on Solana, as the network was racing toward its zenith last November. The DeFi faithful regard TVL as a barometer for on-chain activity. “I devised a scheme to maximize Solana’s TVL: I would build protocols that stack on top of each other, such that a dollar could be counted several times,” Ian wrote in a never-published blog post reviewed by CoinDesk. The blog post was prepared on March 26, three days after Cashio, one of Ian’s secretly built protocols, lost $52 million in a hack. People close to the matter confirmed the draft’s authenticity.
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