Loading...

Axie Infinity hack: US Treasury sanctions 'crypto mixer' Blender.io for role in hack

Axie Infinity hack: US Treasury sanctions 'crypto mixer' Blender.io for role in hack
9 May, 2022
Loading...

The United States Treasury has come in hard on cryptocurrency mixing service provider blender.io, by imposing heavy sanctions, mainly, preventing transactions with US citizens, after the platform was used by hackers to steal over $600 million worth of cryptocurrencies. 

A cryptocurrency mixing service allows crypto users to anonymize transactions by mixing funds from different users before they are transferred to their destination.

“Today, for the first time ever, Treasury is sanctioning a virtual currency mixer,” said Brian E. Nelson, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

Loading...

“Virtual currency mixers that assist illicit transactions pose a threat to US national security interests. We are taking action against illicit financial activity by the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of North Korea) and will not allow state-sponsored thievery and its money-laundering enablers to go unanswered," he added.

Also read: Ronin hack: Axie Infinity COO promises reimbursements

Economic sanctions are financial penalties, usually in the form of blocking of assets or implying trade restrictions in the interest of national security or meeting foreign policy requirements.  

Loading...

Blender.io was slapped with the sanctions after it was found that the platform was used by a hacker who stole Ethereum coins to the tune of over $600 million in online gaming platform Axie Infinity through the Ronin Network. The Ronin Network uses an ethereum-linked bridge to execute transactions for the game Axie Infinity, created by Sky Mavis, a gaming company from Vietnam.

The breach was reported on March 30, but the US Treasury could put out a statement connecting the hack to North Korean cybercriminal network Lazarus only on April 14.

In Ronin Network’s official newsletter, the company acknowledged the new sanctions by the Treasury.

Loading...

“We expect to deliver a full post-mortem that will detail security measures put in place and next steps by the end of the month. Security remains our top priority, and we look forward to sharing our learnings with our community and the broader ecosystem,” the newsletter read.

The Ronin Network, however, said that it is still in the process of deploying additional security measures before the Ronin Bridge can be redeployed. 

“Expect the bridge to be deployed by end of the month. Security comes first. The timeline is subject to change based on the implementation time of several security measures,” it said in a statement. 

Loading...