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Hackers stole over $500 million in cryptocurrency in record heist, Ronin says

Blockchain project Ronin said on Tuesday that hackers stole cryptocurrency currently worth nearly $615 million from its systems, in what would be one of the biggest cryptocurrency heists ever. recorded.

The project said that on March 23, unidentified hackers stole 173,600 ether tokens and 25.5 million USD coin tokens. At current exchange rates, the stolen funds are worth $615 million, but they were worth $540 million at the time of the attack.

That makes it the second-largest crypto heist on record, according to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic.

Ronin is used to power the popular online game Axie Infinity, which uses non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and is the largest NFT collection by sales volume of all time, according to NFT market tracker CryptoSlam.

Ronin said in a blog post that the hacker used stolen private keys — the passwords needed to access crypto funds — to get away with the funds.

Ronin said he discovered the hack on Tuesday. “We work directly with various government agencies to ensure that criminals are brought to justice,” he said, adding that he was discussing with Axie Infinity how to ensure user funds are not lost. .

Ronin users are unable to withdraw or deposit funds on the network, he said.

Ronin did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent via Twitter. He said he was working with leading blockchain tracker Chainalysis to trace the stolen funds. Most of the funds are still in the hacker’s digital wallet, Ronin said.

Hacks have plagued crypto platforms for a long time.

The cryptocurrency arm of Jump Trading said last month that it had restored more than $320 million to the Wormhole crypto platform after the decentralized finance site was hit by one of the biggest ever recorded crypto heists.

Last August, the hackers behind the biggest digital coin heist ever returned nearly all of the $610 million+ they stole from the DeFi site Poly Network.

In 2018, digital tokens worth $530 million were stolen from the Tokyo-based platform Coincheck. Mt Gox, another Japanese exchange, collapsed in 2014 after hackers stole half a billion dollars worth of crypto.

Ronin is developed by Singapore-based game studio Sky Mavis, owner of Axie Infinity. Sky Mavis does not provide contact details on its website. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent via Linkedin.

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