THORSwap Suspends Trading After Illicit Fund Flows Identified
Researcher estimates $57M in stolen ETH was swapped to BTC via THORChain in four months
By: The Defiant Team •
THORSwap, the THORChain-based DEX, has paused trading services researchers identified illicit funds moving through the exchange.
In an Oct. 6 tweet, THORChain said it consulted advisors, legal counsel, and law enforcement before deciding to enter “maintenance mode.” Although swaps are paused during maintenance mode, THORChain users can still manage their lending and liquidity-providing operations on the exchange.
“A pressing and persistent concern has recently come to light: the potential movement of illicit funds through THORChain and, specifically, THORSwap.” THORSwap will remain in [maintenance] mode until a more permanent and robust solution can be implemented to ensure the platform's continued security and integrity.”
The news comes after Tay Vano, a popular on-chain researcher, recently estimated more than 50% of the ETH exchanged to BTC via the THORChain router over the past four months was stolen, totaling more than $57M worth of assets.
“The hackers and money launderers — both the Russian/CIS region ones and North Korean ones — are loooooving THORChain lately.,” Vano tweeted on Oct. 1. “It is woefully naive to pretend that you are changing the world or empowering people if the large majority of your use is by literal thieves and money launderers and authoritarian regimes.”
The price of THORChain’s RUNE token crashed 9% in less than 8 hours following the announcement.
An Oct. 5 report from Elliptic, a blockchain forensics firm, estimated $7B has been laundered via cross-chain protocols to date, of which North Korean hackers accounted for $900M.