Cross-chain bridge RenBridge laundered $540M in hacking proceeds: Elliptic

Cross-chain bridges have been the goal of quite a lot of hacks this 12 months, however new information from blockchain analytics supplier Elliptic alleges one has been used to launder over half a billion {dollars} in ill-gotten crypto belongings. 

In accordance with an Aug. 10 report, crypto bridge RenBridge has facilitated the laundering of a minimum of $540 million in proceeds of crime since 2020 by way of a course of generally known as chain hopping — changing one type of cryptocurrency into one other and shifting it throughout a number of blockchains.

Elliptic stated that decentralized cross-chain bridges present “an unregulated different to exchanges for transferring worth between blockchains.”

Rogue states and hacker teams

For probably the most half, cross-chain bridges or blockchain bridges are used for reliable functions, enabling customers to maneuver cryptocurrencies seamlessly throughout blockchain networks.

Customers sometimes deposit their tokens from one chain to the bridge protocol, which is locked right into a contract, then the person is issued the equal of a parallel token in one other chain.

Nevertheless, Elliptic famous these bridges have additionally been utilized by ransomware gangs, exploiters, and hackers to launder proceeds of crime, with RenBridge accounting for a minimum of $540 million of laundered proceeds since 2020. 

Most lately, a minimum of $2.4 million in crypto belongings stolen in the course of the Nomad hack on Aug 2 went by way of the cross-chain bridge, in response to the agency.

Elliptic additionally famous that belongings from decentralized finance (DeFi) companies value a minimum of $267.2 million have been laundered utilizing RenBridge within the final two years, whereas a portion of the $80 million stolen from Liquid World change final 12 months, allegedly by North Korea, has handed by way of RenBridge.

The Conti ransomware group, which famously attacked the Costa Rican authorities again in June, has additionally laundered over $53 million by way of RenBridge to this point.

Authorities involved

Elliptic famous that blockchain bridges resembling RenBridge poses a problem to authorities attempting to clamp down on people and teams utilizing the rising know-how for illicit actions.

“Blockchain bridges resembling RenBridge pose a problem to regulators since there isn’t any central service supplier that facilitates these cross-chain transactions,” it stated. 

Associated: Is there a safe future for cross-chain bridges?

In a Jun. 30 standing report from the Monetary Motion Process Power (FATF), the intergovernmental group highlighted growing dangers related to “chain hopping,” significantly within the DeFi house:

“The fast progress and evolution of the Defi sector is a trigger for concern because it may trigger dangers to speed up and proliferate.”

Author: Traciwininger

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