Ronin Exploiter Moved 21,000 Ether to Tornado Cash in Past Week

The stash is worth over $65 million at current prices.

Apr 13, 2022 at 5:38 a.m. UTC
Updated Apr 13, 2022 at 3:39 p.m. UTC

Shaurya is an analyst/editor for CoinDesk's markets team in Asia.

The entity behind blockchain bridge Ronin Network’s unprecedented $655 million exploit in March has apparently moved tens of millions of dollars' worth of stolen ether (ETH) through privacy protocol Tornado Cash in the past week, blockchain data from addresses connected to the exploiter show.

  • Activity over the past week from the exploiter’s main address – tagged Ronin Bridge Exploiter on tracking service Etherscan – apparently shows that more than 21,000 ethers were moved in several transactions to different wallets.
  • Data shows these funds were then moved to privacy exchange Tornado Cash. The exploiter seemed to have made several trades of 100 ethers each from all those wallets, data apparently shows.

Transfers to Tornado Cash were done in amounts of 100 ether, as this wallet shows. (Etherscan)

  • The funds moved to Tornado Cash are worth upward of $65 million at current prices.
  • Tornado enhances the privacy of transactions by breaking the on-chain link between a source and a destination address. This allows exploiters and hackers to mask their addresses while withdrawing illicitly gained funds.
  • Transfer amounts out of the main wallet range from 1,000 ethers to Wednesday morning’s 3,202 ethers, the highest amount so far.
  • Some wallets, such as 0xdf225C84A0eAEAaAC20E6C1d369e94EE13B9dF2A, saw multiple ether deposits from the exploiter. Others like 0x429a66e7bD829F9453CEE5239Bfeaf5657A11A3e have seen just one deposit.
  • The main wallet continues to hold upward of 151,055 ether, worth $461 million at current prices, at the time of writing.
  • Ronin Network was hit by a $625 million exploit in March that affected Ronin validator nodes for Sky Mavis, the publisher of the popular Axie Infinity game, and the Axie DAO. Ronin makes software that allows gamer to transfer digital assets from the game to different blockchains.
  • The attacker “used hacked private keys in order to forge fake withdrawals” from the Ronin bridge across two transactions, as seen on Etherscan, Ronin said in a blog post on Substack.
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Shaurya is an analyst/editor for CoinDesk's markets team in Asia.

Shaurya is an analyst/editor for CoinDesk's markets team in Asia.

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