Crypto mixer sanctioned by US Treasury for role in Axie Infinity hack

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The US Treasury Division Workplace of International Belongings Management (OFAC) introduced Friday that it was sanctioning cryptocurrency mixer Blender.io for its function in laundering proceeds from the hacking of Axie Infinity’s Ronin Bridge. North Korean state-sponsored hackers Lazarus Group have been recognized because the perpetrators of the assault. 

Treasury Beneath Secretary for Terrorism and Monetary Intelligence Brian E. Nelson said in an announcement:

“At this time, for the primary time ever, Treasury is sanctioning a digital foreign money mixer. […] We’re taking motion towards illicit monetary exercise by the DPRK and won’t permit state-sponsored thievery and its money-laundering enablers to go unanswered.”

Beneath the sanctions, all Blender.io property in the USA or within the possession of U.S. individuals is blocked and should be reported to OFAC.

In response to OFAC, Blender.io processed $20.5 million out of roughly $620 million stolen from the Vietnam-based play-to-earn game in the form of roughly 173,600 Ether (ETH) and 25.5 million USD Coin (USDC). OFAC additionally discovered throughout its investigation that Blender.io had facilitated cash laundering for Russia-linked ransomware teams together with Trickbot, Conti, Ryuk, Sodinokibi and Gandcrab. The Blender.io web site was offline on the time of writing.

The Treasury company additionally added the addresses of 4 wallets utilized by Lazarus Group to launder among the stolen funds to its Checklist of Specifically Designated Nationals and Blocked Individuals.

Associated: US Treasury Dept sanctions 3 Ethereum addresses allegedly linked to North Korea

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The Ronin Bridge hack happened on March 23, however it was only discovered the following week. The bridge was accessed by way of sport developer Sky Mavis. That group had been indefinitely whitelisted after serving to course of a surge in transactions. Sky Mavis raised $150 million to reimburse customers who misplaced cash within the exploit, and Binance was capable of recover $5.8 million of the money from 86 accounts. Lazarus Group was identified as the hackers by OFAC in mid-April.