Axie Infinity CEO Transferred $3 Million in tokens Before the $622 Million Ronin Hack Disclosure
- In March, attackers stole $622 million worth of assets from Ronin Bridge – an Ethereum sidechain made for renowned NFT-based Axie Infinity.
- Nguyen states the $3 Million transaction was to stop AXS short sellers from front-running the news.
- Nguyen denies accusations of insider trading, calling them baseless.
In March 2022, Ronin Bridge – an Ethereum sidechain made for renowned crypto game Axie Infinity, was subjected to a brutal crypto hack, which resulted in the hackers stealing $622 million worth of assets.
The attacker drained 173,600 Wrapped Ethereum and 25.5 million USDC stablecoins. The US Treasury pinned the North Korean hacking group – the Lazarus Group, as the ones behind this Defi Hack. Three months later, Ronin Bridge restarted its operations with all user funds reimbursed.
The hack was slowly becoming a thing of the past until recently Bloomberg report surfaced accusing Sky Mavis(Studio behind Axie Infinity) CEO Trung Nguyen of transferring $3 million worth of tokens just before the hack was disclosed. Bloomberg reports that Nguyen transferred about $3 million worth of the game’s AXS governance token from the Ronin network to crypto exchange Binance.
As soon as the report became a talking point, Nguyen took to Twitter to explain himself. Acknowledging the $3 Million transfer, he stated that the transaction’s goal was to stop AXS short sellers from front-running the news.
The co-founder further added that the speculation of insider trading was baseless. To further emphasize the goal behind the transaction, Nguyen states the Founding Team also deposited $7.5M from a known Axie multi-sig wallet TO Ronin Network before the bridge closing to avoid triggering any short-sellers watching.
Nguyen’s token transfer occurred just three hours before Sky Mavis disclosed the Ronin network hack, nearly a full week after the attack occurred, and closed off access to the network until late June. In March, the hackers drained the funds via the bridge that connects Ronin to the Ethereum main net, using hacked private keys to gain control of five of the network’s nine total validators to sign fraudulent transactions and transfer the funds.
Reportedly, bad actors entered its system by sending a spyware-filled PDF to one employee who thought he was getting a job offer with higher pay from another firm. A month after the attack, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), CEO of Binance – informed that his company retrieved $6 million of the $620 million stolen from the Lazarus Group. Sky Mavis has secured $150 million in funding to help reimburse users since the hack, and Nguyen said all players’ funds are now backed 1:1.
The AXS-Axie Infinity’s original token has witnessed several ups and downs in recent months. The price of Axie Infinity has risen by 17.11% in the past 7 days. The price increased by 6.58% in the last 24 hours.
Axie infinity, one of the most popular crypto games, gained a popularity surge in June. The firm reportedly generated nearly 780 million USD in sales in thirty days in June last year. Despite the play to earn the NFT economy collapsing, Axie Infinity remains one of the most successful crypto games to date, with over $4 billion in NFT trading volume.