While Blockchain Bridge is struggling to protect its operations from hackers, on the other hand, there is a bridge that has become a tool for crypto criminals to legalize their theft. According to blockchain analytics provider Elliptic, hackers are laundering funds stolen through their hacks and scams at RenBridge. Over the past two years, RenBridge has reportedly laundered over $540 million (approximately Rs 4,290 crore). The platform is a decentralized application (dApp) that allows real BTC, ZEC and BCH to be minted as ERC20 tokens (renBTC, renZEC, renBCH) on Ethereum.
Elliptic has a blog post In the past two years, at least $267.2 million (approximately Rs 2,122 crore) of crypto assets stolen from exchanges and decentralized finance (DeFi) services have been laundered through Rainbridge. is also an important facilitator, through whose service a ransom of over $153 million (approximately Rs 1,215 crore) has been paid to date.”
Earlier this month, Nomad, a cross-chain bridge, suffered a loss of $200 million (about Rs 1,570 crore) in a protocol breach.
In its report, Elliptic stated that $2.4 million (about Rs 20 crore) in crypto assets stolen from Nomad has also been routed through RenBridge.
Decentralized cross-chain bridges such as Rainbridge provide an unregulated option for exchanges to transfer value between blockchains and are therefore a challenge. Transactions on these cross-chain bridges are processed by a network of thousands of false-name validators called “darknodes”.
Hackers and scammers take advantage of these bridges by depositing their tokens from one chain into bridges and then withdrawing the equivalent of parallel tokens on another chain.
In early July, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) set up a special Report was published, highlighting a growing number of cases showing the misuse of DeFi tools such as cross-chain bridges.