The Ronin Network, a blockchain system that runs the massive NFT game Axie Infinity, announced in a blog post that hackers stole about $625 million worth of funds.
In a message to its community, Ronin officials wrote in part:
“There has been a security breach on the Ronin Network. Earlier today, we discovered that on March 23rd, Sky Mavis’s Ronin validator nodes and Axie DAO validator nodes were compromised resulting in 173,600 Ethereum and 25.5M USDC drained from the Ronin bridge in two transactions.”
Hackers are believed to have exploited a security weakness in the Ronin bridge, which is software that allows users to convert tokens into ones that can be used on other blockchains. The stolen funds are fully on display in the hacker’s wallet.
The Ronin Network says it is working with law enforcement officials, forensic cryptographers and internal investors to protect user funds. They report, “All of the AXS, RON, and SLP on Ronin are safe right now,” and went on to explain that at the moment, users will be unable to withdraw or deposit funds to Ronin Network.
Axie Infinity is an incredibly popular NFT-based game that has generated $1.3 billion in the 12 months through February, reports Bloomberg. Communicating to Bloomberg via text, Aleksander Leonard Larsen, chief operating officer of the gaming studio Sky Mavis, explained, “We are fully committed to reimbursing our players as soon as possible.” He added, “We’re still working on a solution, that is an ongoing discussion.”
Crypto heists are nothing new. Chainalysis reports that in 2021, hackers stole $3.2 billion in cryptocurrency from investors. This Ronin heist is the largest of 2022, displacing a $325 million theft through the Wormhole bridge in February.