Roughly $625 million worth of cryptocurrency has been stolen from Ronin, the blockchain underlying popular crypto game Axie Infinity
According to the firm, hackers broke into gaming-focused blockchain platform Ronin Network last week and stole coins worth more than $600 million, making it the second-largest attack in the developing cryptocurrency market. Sky Mavis, the operator of Ronin and Axie Infinity, discovered the hack and blocked all transactions on the Ronin bridge, which enables users to deposit and withdraw funds from the company’s blockchain.
Sky Mavis claims it’s collaborating with law authorities to collect 173,600 Ethereum (now valued at over $600 million) and 25.5 million USDC (a cryptocurrency tied to the US dollar) from the perpetrator, who removed the funds off the network on March 23rd. The hack targeted Sky Mavis’ Ronin network, which acts as a middleman between Axie Infinity and other cryptocurrency blockchains such as Ethereum. Users may deposit Ethereum or USDC into Ronin, then buy non-fungible tokens or in-game currency, or sell their in-game assets and withdraw the funds.
As the quantity of trade activity rises, crypto hacks are becoming increasingly regular. In December, a hack of the Bitmart platform resulted in the theft of about $200 million in cryptocurrency, and this summer, a hacker targeted Poly Network, which allows blockchains to collaborate, for a total of more than $600 million, but the money was later restored.
The system has ceased activity on networks that allow players to exchange assets in the Axie Infinity realm and cash between the Ethereum and Ronin blockchains, according to a blog posted to the Ronin network’s official Substack. Players with digital money on the Ronin network are unable to conduct transactions at this time. According to a business blog post, attackers compromised private keys required to validate network transactions starting on March 23. The hostile actors were able to create false withdrawals using these keys. The behavior remained undiscovered until a user couldn’t withdraw money and reported it.