Last week Sky Mavis, the Vietnamese company behind the crypto game Axie Infinity, revealed that the hacker stole the crypt for hundreds of millions of dollars from his blockchain. Sky Mavis realized it was attacked when a user could not withdraw funds six days after the hack, and the company froze transactions on its hacked Ronin Network bridge.
Sky Mavis has now announced that it has received an investment of $ 150 million, which “will be used to reimburse all users affected by the Ronin Validator hack.” Almost at the same time he launches a new version of the game, Axie Infinity: Origins. According to Sky Mavis CEO Trung Nguyen, “As a team, we have made a deliberate decision to focus on what lies ahead.”
Other crypto companies they work with Axie Infinity and Sky Mavis – and have huge sums associated with Web3 and NFTs – top the list of names bought to save Sky Mavis, instead of potentially seeing it crash. The list includes the crypto exchange Binance, the venture company A16z, which promotes Web3, and Animoca Brands, which owns The Sandbox, as well as several others.
Now Sky Mavis says it plans to reopen the Ronin Network Bridge after it undergoes a security update and test to try to find out if there are other vulnerabilities. Binance (which has just invested in the game) has resumed transactions with the network, and, according to the exchange, this means that “all individual users will be able to withdraw their funds.”
The Sky Mavis team says the March 23 theft (they, again, went unnoticed until March 29, when the user tried to withdraw funds and failed) was “socially engineered” by exploiting vulnerabilities from compromises made while trying to achieve mass acceptance. Although they remain committed to shaping players, using their own funds combined with investment, the 56,000 broadcasts stolen from the Axie Infinity DAO treasury will remain “insufficient” as the company and law enforcement try to reclaim the crypt. Their plan is to wait two years and then the DAO will vote on what to do next.
As for the stolen funds, about 168 thousand ethers (at the time of writing this article is worth more than $ 540 million) remain in the wallet where the thief or thieves left them. Trying to launder an extraction of this size is a problem as everyone can see the transactions made on the blockchain. As we detailed in 2013, while crypto-mixers or glasses can help hide the source of funds, law enforcement is focusing on them even more closely, and washing such a huge amount can take a long time.
Report from The Wall Street Journal quotes platform CEO Bug Bounty Immunefi, who says moving that amount of money through a glass can take years. Industrial observers like Peckshield keep posting real-time alerts as small fractions of the stolen crypt are transferred from the thief’s account to other wallets and to mixers such as Tornado Cash.
Nguyen says the Ronin network will expand the number of validator nodes in its blockchain network with proof of share over the next three months from five to 21 to strengthen security. Having fewer nodes to view transactions makes it faster and more efficient. However, it can be a security risk if someone compromises enough of them – in which case the attacker seized five of the nine nodes and could withdraw any funds he wanted.
4 / We thank everyone in the community for their patience when we re-created the Battle system from scratch to make it more fun, beautiful and engaging. This is a big step for the Axie Infinity ecosystem, and it required the support of every member of the community. pic.twitter.com/gAMTe4qkxD
– Axie Infinity (@AxieInfinity) April 7, 2022
Before hacking, Axie Infinity already suffers from a 45 percent drop in daily active users, according to reports Bloombergas well as problems with the in-game economy that forced operators to reduce the number of SLP tokens that players could earn through PVE each day (the lure of the game is that you can play to make money using NFT characters you have accessed) in half, “meaning long-term ecosystem health”.
Despite the theft, the company has just launched an alpha version of “Early Access” for its next game, Axie Infinity: Origins (another scheduled spin-off, Earth, invites players to take on the fun role of “land barons”. This new “ecosystem experience” should be more polite to a global audience (Axie Infinity claims more than 2.2 million active players each month, and the player tracker shows that about 40 percent of players are in the Philippines, where many expect it to be full time), with brand new interfaces, game mechanics, art, special effects, plots , and extensive adaptation experience. ”
Most importantly, unlike the main game, players will start the fight with three free “axes”. Although their free axes do not allow you to participate in the “earn” part to earn, the idea is that this is a way for people to try the game without having to buy an NFT character or rent it from a player-manager who leases access to exchange for revenue cuts. As mentioned in the announcement, “Finally new players will be able to explore the game and love the universe before touching crypto and NFT!”
The developers say that the current version of the game Battles v2 (Classic) will remain running until the end of testing, and then abandon the old version and move the token rewards to Origins, removing the valuable incentive to play the old game. Any players who have been encouraged to create a Ronin wallet and fund it with cryptocurrency to buy an ax can rest assured that users will be reimbursed after a major theft, but is that enough to make sure someone doesn’t repeat it?