Sky Mavis Denies Wrongdoing After YouTube Sleuth Links Unusual Transaction to Company’s CEO: Report

About $3 million worth of AXS tokens were moved from CEO Trung Nguyen’s wallet on Axie’s Ronin blockchain to crypto exchange Binance hours before the announcement of an exploit.

AccessTimeIconJul 28, 2022 at 9:17 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:24 p.m. UTC

Vietnam-based game developer Sky Mavis is denying speculation of wrongdoing surrounding March’s cyberattack on Ronin, the blockchain powering its crypto-based game Axie Infinity.

At issue is about $3 million of the game’s main token, AXS, that was moved from the Ronin blockchain to Binance in the hours before Sky Mavis announced the exploit and de facto froze the assets of users. Sleuthing by a YouTuber going by the name of Asobs traced the tokens to a wallet controlled by Sky Mavis CEO Trung Nguyen, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Confirming the transfer, Sky Mavis spokeswoman Kalie Moore told Bloomberg Nguyen’s aim was to boost the company’s finances during the crisis in a way that wasn’t immediately noticeable by the crypto community.

“Our position and options would be better the more AXS we had on Binance,” said Moore. “This would give us the flexibility to pursue different options for securing the loans/capital required.”

“The Founding Team chose to transfer it from this wallet to ensure that short sellers, who track official Axie wallets, would not be able to front-run the news,” she continued.

Taking to Twitter after publication of the Bloomberg article, Nguyen called any speculation that he engaged in insider trading “baseless and false.”

Asobs has identified several other wallets that may belong to Sky Mavis employees, but the company has declined to confirm or deny which wallets were owned by its workers. “We can see the money moved," said Asobs. "The only question is what happened behind the money moving.”


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Elizabeth Napolitano is a news reporter at CoinDesk.

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