Axie Infinity’s Ethereum – Ronin bridge reopens in a few days

Axie Infinity’s Ethereum – Ronin bridge reopens in a few days
Key facts:
  • With the launch of the bridge, users will recover their funds lost in the attack.

  • The bridge allows to deposit and withdraw tokens in the network developed by Axie Infinity.

On Tuesday, June 28, the Ronin sidechain bridge with Ethereum will be back up and running after nearly three months. This connection between networks had been suspended after suffering a hack for USD 600 million in March 2022. The reopening will include the return of funds to affected users.

According to release posted by Ronin on Twitter, the reopening of the bridge will demand a hard fork of the blockchain, so network validators will have to update their software. The same must be done by non-validating nodes.

During these months in which the bridge between Ronin and Ethereum was paralyzed, users had to find other ways to deposit and withdraw tokens of the blockchain from the video game Axie Infinity. For example, they could do it through centralized exchanges.

As for the stolen funds that will now be recovered by users, these come from a funding round that Sky Mavis ran in April, in which USD 150 million were raised. One of the main contributors to that round of financing was Binance, as reported by the company itself in a official statement.

Ronin is a sidechain of ethereum. This means that it is connected to the main network and interacts with it. In this way, new developments can be created without cluttering the main blockchain in question, such as wallets, application programming interfaces (APIs), marketplaces, and smart contracts.

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Axie Infinity, one of the most popular Play-to-Earn (P2E) games, uses the Ronin blockchain to function. One of its co-founders, Aleksander Leonard Larsen, reported on Twitter that “the time has come for Ronin and SkyMavisHQ to expand their video game portfolio”, so it is possible that new titles created on this blockchain by the same developer firm will come out in the future.

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The hack to the Ronin bridge, one of the largest

In late March, a group of hackers later identified as the Lazarus group, originally from North Korea, took control of 5 of the 9 validator nodes of Ronin. In this way, as CriptoNoticias reported, 173,600 ETH and 25.5 million in the USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin could be stolen.

The amount subtracted is equivalent to USD 200 million at the time of closing this note, according to the CriptoNoticias price index. Nevertheless, at the time of the attack, when ETH was trading at approximately $3,000, it was equivalent to $600 million.

More precisely, the attackers managed to compromise the security of the Sky Mavis Ronin validation nodes and the Axie DAO validation nodes. By exploiting more than half of the nodes, the hackers obtained the necessary signatures to falsify transactions and thus make cryptocurrency withdrawals.

The event forced the developers to freeze the bridge between Ronin and Ethereum and to also stop the operation of the decentralized exchange (DEX) Katana. From that moment until now, the Ronin and Sky Mavis team have been working for the reopening, which will finally take place next Tuesday.