$622 million; This is the record amount of the hack of which the Play to Earn Axie Infinity platform has just been the victim. Sky Mavis, the game’s publishing company, believes that it is able to compensate the players affected by this hack.
By taking control of 5 of the 9 nodes of the Ronin blockchain, a mysterious hacker has just pulled off the heist of the century. The largest amount stolen from the DeFi sector now exceeds $622 million.
173 million ETH stolen
The attack, which began on March 23, would not have been discovered until 6 days later, on March 29. Through two transactions, the hacker(s) managed to embezzle a whopping 173,600 ETH and 25.5 million USDC stablecoins. Or more than 600 million dollars at the current price.
An element that will only be discovered much later, after a user wishes to withdraw 5,000 ETH. The Ronin blockchain teams then noticed the lack of liquidity and launched an investigation. An investigation that will reveal the extent of the damage.
According to game publisher Axie Infinity, the hacker used private security keys to compromise network nodes. It would thus have validated transfers to but also from the Ronin blockchain.
To validate an exchange on the Ronin blockchain, you need the signature of 5 validation blocks among the 9 on the blockchain. A feat that the hacker was able to validate.
This security breach now costs more than $600 million. The scale of this hack has revived debates on social networks around the choice between Proof of Work and Proof of Stake.
Validator nodes are one of the components of Proof of Stake blockchains like the Ronin blockchain. If these blockchains are reputed to be much less energy-intensive, they are also much more susceptible to attacks.
The Axie Infinity platform suspends deposits and withdrawals
Following the discovery of the hack, the developers of the Axie Infinity game froze user deposits and withdrawals. De facto preventing new players from taking their first steps in the Play to Earn game.
On this point, everything should be back to normal in the days or weeks to come. According to Sky Mavis, the priority is to secure the protocol. The publisher is already working with cryptographers in this direction.
The Ronin team also works with various government agencies, but also with the help of the Binance platform or other exchanges like FTX. The goal ? Track down the hacker behind the theft and bring him to justice.
What impact on the price of AXS and RON tokens?
The news had a direct impact on the token price of both projects. Both the AXS token from the Axie Infinity game and the RON token from the Ronin project both experienced a drop in the space of a few minutes. As shown in the following two graphs, taken from the Coinmarketcap platform:
So, in the space of a few minutes, the RON token went from $2.27 to $1.69. Erasing in passing the gains made since March 15 thanks to the recovery of the crypto market. Since the hack, it is moving in a range between $1.75 and $1.85.
The AXS token also experienced a fall in the space of a few minutes. Going from 70 to almost 64 dollars. On the night of March 29 to 30, the price of the asset even fell below 62 dollars. The SLP token (Smooth Love Potion), used in the game Axie Infinity, also experienced a strong drop in its price following the hack.