The Axie Infinity Ronin bridge exploit was one of the biggest DeFi hacks in the history of crypto, totalling a loss of more than $662 million at the time.
Authorities have actively been trying to trace down those that attacked the network in an attempt to recover the stolen funds.
Chainalysis announced today that more than $30 million worth of the stolen crypto has been recovered. The announcement was at the official AxieCon event in Barcelona and was followed up with a blog post about the events that unfolded after the hack.
The funds were allegedly stolen by the North Koreas Lazarus hacker group, according to the US Treasury.
After laundering the crypto, the group sent portions to centralized exchanges. Law enforcement officials were quick to step in and seize the crypto the moment it arrived at the exchanges.
The hackers were hoping to swap the crypto tokens for fiat currency and withdraw it, according to Chainalysis.
The Ronin bridge hack happened on March 23, with 173,600 WETH (Wrapped-Ether) and 25.5 million USDC moved from the bridge that connects Axie Infinity’s sidechain to the Ethereum mainnet.
At the time of the attack, the crypto was worth $552 million, but it grew to $662 million when it was declared public after a week.
The total amount of the stolen crypto is now worth $307 million in today’s market, and authorities have managed to recover around 10% of the total crypto stolen.
“This marks the first time ever that cryptocurrency stolen by a North Korean hacking group has been seized, and we’re confident it won’t be the last,” says Chainalysis Senior Director of Investigation Erin Plante.
Axie Infinity is one of the most popular Ethereum-based blockchain games. It is the most successful crypto game in terms of total NFT trading volume, with over $4 billion worth of NFTs traded, according to data from CryptoSlam.
The game gained a lot of popularity in 2021, and the majority of the revenue was generated during that time.
The Ronin Bridge attack happened as a result of insufficient decentralization, with only nine validators on the network. The Lazarus hacker group gained control after hacking five private keys allowing them to swipe hundreds of millions of dollars with ease.
Sky Mavis – the creators of Axie Infinity – reopened the closed Ronin Bridge in June and fully refunded all users.
There is still a 56,000 ETH hole in the Axie DAO treasury while authorities attempt to recover the rest of the funds. It has also been confirmed that all recovered funds will be put back into the Axie DAO treasury.