About 600 million dollars disappear in ‘Axie Infinity’

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‘Axie Infinity’, also known as the ‘Pokémon of NFTs’, has long become a viral phenomenon in the world of cryptocurrencies. Its popularity and success is now compromised by what is already the biggest heist in the history of cryptocurrencies: hackers have managed to steal nearly 600 million dollars.

What is ‘Axie Infinity’. It is a video game developed by the Vietnamese firm Sky Mavis. Players can collect and create NFTs that are represented by those digital pets called Axies. One can breed them and then put them to fight against others.

The game is famous for its ‘play-to-earn’ model (something like ‘play-to-earn-money’) and has become a viral phenomenon and a real economic success: not long ago it was the first of this guy in overcome the 4,000 million dollars in sales. For its operation, ‘Axie Infinty’ makes use of its own cryptocurrency and the Ronin network, a chain of blocks derived from that of Ethereum.

What is Ronin? As we said, the Ronin network is a blockchain created in February 2021 by Sky Mavis that solved a major problem: the fees charged on transactions with ETH and the Ethereum network are very high and that made it unfeasible to use them successfully. in ‘Axie Infinity’.

What did its creators do? Well, inventing a new blockchain that connected with Ethereum through a bridge or ‘bridge’. That bridge is nothing more than a smart contract that allows tokens to be transferred between two different blockchains.

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Dude where are my ETH. Yesterday those responsible for Ronin advertised that that bridge had been compromised and that 173,600 ETH and 25.5 million USDC, a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar, had been stolen. The current value of those cryptocurrencies makes the theft amount to about 615 million dollars including both cryptocurrencies.

It’s the biggest heist in crypto history, albeit narrowly: the Poly Network heist in August 2021 was worth $610 million, though the hacker responsible for it ended up returning all the money because he just wanted the company to learn something. of all that. At the moment it does not seem that this is the intention of the hackers who have stolen from the Ronin network. It is known as always what purse is the money inbut good luck identifying its owner.

The key to theft: the (few) validators. The theft was not caused by a traditional vulnerability in the blockchain or the bridge’s smart contract — which was what happened at Poly. In fact it was much easier, because the hacker (or hackers) managed to take control of a majority of the nodes that controlled the blockchain.

Those validators allow transactions to be approved on the Ronin network (which uses a Proof-of-Authority model). The problem is that in Ronin there were only 9 validators, and the hacker took control of five of them. On the bitcoin block chain exist for example almost 15,000 nodes, so an attack that tries to take control and thus manage consensus is much more complex.

‘Axie Infinity’ (and NFTs) go flat. As they indicate in Vice, this is probably not the last of the concerns for this video game. Its creators have promised to strengthen the functioning of their network, but even before this colossal theft, the platform was falling in value: its tokens and NFTs have fallen in value noticeably, which led the creators to reduce the issuance of those tokens for avoid collapse. It is not something that is only happening with this game: a third of the NFT is no longer worth anything.

‘Axie Infinity’, also known as the ‘Pokémon of NFTs’, has long become a viral phenomenon in the world of cryptocurrencies.…

‘Axie Infinity’, also known as the ‘Pokémon of NFTs’, has long become a viral phenomenon in the world of cryptocurrencies.…

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