Hackers have stolen roughly $625 million in crypto funds from popular online video game platform Axie Infinity. To date, it is one of the largest crypto thefts to ever occur within the space, and certainly the largest attack to ever occur on a video game venture.
Axie Is the Victim of a Major Hack
Cryptocurrency has no doubt come a long way since it was first conceptualized 13 years ago. Bitcoin, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency by market cap and the grandfather of all other altcoins, was first mined in early 2009. The event gave rise to a new division of the financial space that in just over ten years, was recently valued at more than $2 trillion.
However, crypto is consistently marred by the large waves of crime that occur within its confines. Events such as the Mt. Gox hack of February 2014 and Coincheck in January 2018 have caused many people to view the crypto industry as unsafe and risky to some level, and traders will often shy away from an industry that has proven to be quite revolutionary in recent years.
In addition, organizations such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) now warn that crypto scams and attacks rank amongst the most dangerous in the world.
Situations like these continue to occur, and now it looks like Axie is the latest victim of hackers and thieves that ultimately sought to get their hands on profits they did not earn. The attack occurred when Ronin – the blockchain network that powers the game system – was infiltrated. Interestingly, it appears the hack may have occurred as far back as two weeks ago, yet developers of both Axie and Ronin say they only discovered the issue a few days ago.
This easily raises the question, “How could a missing sum of $600 million go unnoticed for so long?” In a statement, the company explained:
There has been a security breach on the Ronin network. We are working directly with various government agencies to ensure the criminals get brought to justice.
Buy NFTs, Create Powerful Creatures
Axie employs a “play-to-earn” method of gaming. This method has grown quite popular over the years amongst similar platforms in that it allows crypto and video game fans alike to take part in the things they love. Gamers can earn digital funds given they accomplish certain tasks or feats within Axie’s ever-growing gaming world. The more they play, the bigger their crypto stash can become. Within the game, players purchase non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and use them to breed various creatures and beasts that are then deployed into virtual battles.
At the time of writing, it is believed that the attackers made off with about 174,000 units of ether and 26 million in USD Coin (USDC), a popular stable currency. Overall, the totals amount to more than $600 million at press time.