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Block-chain project Ronin says, hackers stole crypto-currency worth $615 million

The block-chain project’s users are unable to withdraw or deposit funds on the network

On Tuesday, Block-chain project Ronin said that crypto-currency worth almost $615 million, from its systems, were stolen by hackers, in what would be one of the largest crypto-currencies heists on record.

The block-chain project said that on 23 March, some 173600 ether tokens and 25.5 million USD Coin tokens were stolen by unidentified hackers. The stolen funds were worth some $540 million at the time of the attack, but are now worth $615 million as per the current exchange rates.

According to block-chain analysis firm Elliptic, the crypto-theft is the second-largest on record.

According to the NFT market tracker CryptoSlam, block-chain project Ronin is used to power the popular online game Axie Infinity that uses non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and is the biggest NFT collection by all-times sales volume.

Ronin, in a blog post, said that the hacker had used stolen private keys – the passwords needed to access crypto funds – to make off with the funds.

Ronin said it had discovered the hack on Tuesday. “We are working directly with various Government agencies to ensure the criminals get brought to justice”, it said, adding that it was discussing with Axie Infinity how to ensure no users’ funds were lost.

The block-chain project’s users are unable to withdraw or deposit funds on the network, it said.

A request for comment sent via Twitter was not responded immediately by Ronin. It said, to trace the stolen funds, it was working with the major block-chain tracker Chainalysis. Most of the funds are in the hacker’s digital wallet, Ronin said.

Crypto platforms have been long plagued by hacks.

The crypto-currency arm of Jump Trading said last month, after the decentralised finance site was hit with one of the largest crypto heists on record, it had restored more than $320 million to crypto platform Wormhole.

Last August, hackers behind likely the biggest ever digital coin heist returned nearly all of the $610 million-plus they stole from the DeFi site Poly Network.

In 2018, digital tokens worth some $530 million were stolen from Tokyo-based platform Coincheck. Mt. Gox, another Japanese exchange, collapsed in 2014 after hackers stole half a billion dollars of crypto.

Ronin is developed by Singapore-based game studio Sky Mavis, which owns Axie Infinity. Sky Mavis does not give contact details on its website. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent via LinkedIn.

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