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Axie Infinity’s Ronin blockchain suffers a $615 million loss in a heist

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In the second-largest cryptocurrency heist to date, blockchain service Ronin suffered a loss of $615 million after hackers stole from its private systems. Said hackers completed the heist last Tuesday, March 23 and took around 173,600 ETH and 25.5 million USDC tokens. 

At the time of the heist, the funds were worth around $540 million, but the prices have since increased and are now at $615 million. The Ronin Team published a community alert last March 29 on their website, delving into the specifics of the case, the timeline and what they are currently trying to accomplish. 

‘We are pushing our plan to add new validators to Ronin in the coming weeks. This will be the key step in bolstering the security of the network. The root cause of our attack was the small validator set which made it much easier to compromise the network’, the statement read. 

Ronin has also disclosed in the same statement that they are currently working with the authorities to ensure that the funds can be recovered. They are collaborating with cryptographers, law enforcement and even the Ronin investors themselves. 

For the heist to be successful, at least 5 of the 9 validate nodes or private keys of the Ronin Sky Mavis chain have to be compromised. According to the overview provided by Ronin, the hackers were able to access 4 of these nodes along with another validator stemming from their third-party Axie DAO. 

This allowed them to access the funds and transfer them to another account through forged withdrawals that were left undetected for a few days.

Currently, Ronin and Axie Infinity’s developer Sky Mavis Network aims to gain access to the funds and reimburse all losses promptly. In the meantime, players who have money invested in the Ronin network will not be allowed to withdraw or deposit any additional funds until the matter has been solved.

The Ronin blockchain service is most notably known for powering the popular play-to-earn crypto game Axie Infinity. It supports millions of users daily and gains millions in sale volume as well. The game was scheduled to release a new origin game, the date of which has been delayed due to the hack. 

For now, the Ronin team is working on getting the funds back and has expressed that they have full intentions of returning the money lost. A heist of this scale is quite rare in the crypto market and can be devastating for several projects and personal investments. 

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