Ronin Bridge, the link that allows users to transfer money to and from accounts in the “game to earn” Axie Infinity game, has reopened after a $625 million theft in March. Sky Mavis, the developer group behind Axie Infinity and the Ronin blockchain that powers the game, announced that players can now use the bridge to make deposits and withdrawals.
Since March, the Ronin Bridge has been closed while Sky Mavis worked to strengthen its security protocols and recover users’ funds. The attack went undetected for six days until a user attempted to withdraw funds and was unable to. in an autopsyBlamed Sky Mavis for a spear-phishing attack that compromised an employee’s account, saying that person no longer works at the company, as well as the lack of a tracking system to monitor large outflows.
After conducting an investigation, the US Treasury Department attributed the hack to North Korean hacking group Lazarus and issued sanctions on the wallet address containing the stolen cryptocurrency. Sky Mavis initially planned to have the bridge operational by the end of April, but later postponed its reopening. stating that “This is not a process we can afford to rush,” as the bridge “will secure billions of dollars in assets.”
The Ronin Bridge is open!
• All user funds are fully covered 1:1 by the new bridge.
• The bridge has undergone an internal audit and two external audits.
• We are still on track to release Land Strike this week.
— Axie Infinity (@AxieInfinity) June 28, 2022
Sky Mavis appears to have kept its promise to compensate players affected by the theft. While noting that users’ money is “fully covered 1:1 by the new bridge”, Sky Mavis still hasn’t recovered much of the Ronin network’s stolen money. After pooling money from the founding members of the Sky Mavis team and receiving $150 million in funding from a number of companies, including Binance, the company says Ronin currently has 71,600 ETH (~$85.8 million) and 25 .5 million USDC ($25.5 million). Sky Mavis says it will repay these obligations in full.
But this still doesn’t explain the 56,000 wETH (~$67.2 million) drained from the Axie DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) Treasury, the group of people who vote on decisions for the Axie community. Sky Mavis says it is working with law enforcement to recover these funds. If it doesn’t get them back in two years, the DAO will cast a vote on the “next steps.”
In a post on Discord, developers told players they are also on track to add deport country this week, which is another scheme to generate rewards for players who have invested money in the game. The edge senior entertainment editor Andrew Webster tried to play the game, saying, “The creatures are all very similar, and experimentation isn’t possible unless you want to use a ton of cryptocurrency.”
It’s unclear what these changes will do to improve the actual gaming experience, even if the backend is now more secure. Shortly after the attack, Sky launched Mavis Axie Infinity: Origina newer version with free-to-play elements to attract new players who do not already have blockchain wallets.
To help prevent future thefts, the Ronin Bridge has undergone one internal audit and two external audits by blockchain security firms Verichains and Certik. The bridge also has a new “circuit breaker system” designed to prevent suspicious users from making unusually large withdrawals. You can read more about Ronin’s update in his blog postand read more about his technical documentation†