Norway Recovers $5.7 Million from Notorious Ronin Bridge Hack

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Axie Infinity’s parent company, Sky Mavis says the Norwegian government and Økokrim have successfully recovered $5.7 million in assets stolen in the Ronin bridge hack. The Ronin Bridge incident is one of the biggest Decentralized Finance (DeFi) hacks in the crypto space, with more than $625 million stolen by the hackers.

The Ronin Bridge Hack and Recovery Efforts

According to Sky Mavis, the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (Økokrim) in a collaborative move managed to freeze and return $5.7 million in stolen funds from the Ronin Bridge incident.

Ronin was built as an Ethereum sidechain to support the web3 game, Axie. The play-to-earn game was created by developers from Sky Mavis. However, it got hacked by criminal elements in 2022. The company expressed deep gratitude to everyone involved in the recovery, particularly Økokrim and the FBI in the United States, for their relentless efforts to track and reclaim these assets for the Axie and Ronin communities.

What Happens to Recovered Funds?

Given the long period involved in the recovery process which required close collaboration among various entities, there were cost implications. The partnership involved legal experts, law enforcement agencies, accountants, and blockchain forensic teams such as Chainalysis.

As such, approximately 15% of the recovered assets will go towards covering the costs and expenses of those who participated in the recovery efforts. The remaining 85% will be allocated to the Axie Infinity treasury.

Additionally, Sky Mavis informed the community that approximately $40 million in other assets have also been frozen by law enforcement authorities. However, the recovery process of the assets will take some time. The authorities did not provide a timeframe for when these additional funds will be returned.

Broader Implications of the Ronin Incident

The Ronin Bridge hack not only highlighted vulnerabilities within the DeFi space but also emphasized the threat posed by sophisticated hacker groups like the Lazarus Group. In September of that same year, 2022, Chainalysis announced a recovery of about $30 million from all of the funds siphoned from Axie Infinity’s Ronin Network. There were report that the Lazarus Group had over $47 million worth of crypto assets in Bitcoin, Ether, and Binance Coin amongst others.

Aside from the Ronin Bridge hack, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) also indicted the notorious North Korean hacker group, the Lazarus Group, for the exploit on Harmony Bridge. The lost amount on that score was $100 million.

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