Axie Infinity’s Ronin Bridge to relaunch after $625 million hack

    27 Jun 2022

    Months after getting exploited in one of the largest crypto-related hacks, the team behind Ronin announced the restart date. Axie Infinity’s Ronin sidechain is expected to be relaunched next week after the $625 million exploit, ‘with all user funds returned.’

    Ronin Network, an EVM blockchain powering popular play-to-earn game Axie Infinity, has announced the reopening date for its bridge three months after it was exploited by the infamous North Korean cybercrime gang “The Lazarus Group.”

    The developer of the play-to-earn game Axie Infinity, Sky Mavis, said that it’s preparing to re-open the Ronin bridge that suffered a $625 million hack in March.

    The Ronin bridge, which was used by players to transfer assets between the Ronin chain and the Ethereum network, is planned to re-open on June 28th, “with all user funds returned,” as the latest community update read.

    Also, the team said that a hard fork will be required for the re-launch of the bridge, which means that all node operators will be required to update their software.

    At the end of March, the exploit of the Ronin bridge became one of the largest in the history of crypto by stealing an estimated $625 million in Ethereum and USDC (at the time of the hack) from the protocol.

    Last week, Sky Mavis announced that the re-designed Ronin bridge had passed an audit from the crypto security firm Certik, coming back “with minor suggestions.”

    “We are implementing Certik’s improvement recommendations and will begin to deploy the validator Governance Smart Contract,” Ronin said in a community post.

    After the incident, Sky Mavis pledged to either recover or reimburse the stolen user funds. In April, the company raised $150 million in funding to aid the process, with crypto exchange Binance leading the fundraising, alongside Animoca Brands, Andreessen Horowitz, Paradigm, and others.

    Moreover, the developers launched a $1 million bug bounty program to “encourage responsible disclosure of security vulnerabilities.”

    About $7 million in ETH of the funds stolen in the attack were sent to the cryptocurrency mixing service Tornado Cash. Meanwhile, the US Treasury identified three additional wallet addresses related to the April attack – allegedly tied to North Korea’s Lazarus hacking group.

    Lately, several cross-chain bridges have fallen victim to exploits in recent months; in February, a hacker stole $320 million from the Wormhole bridge between Solana and Ethereum, while Harmony’s Horizon bridge was hacked for $100 million just last week.

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