Axie Infinity CEO Reportedly Withdrew Funds Before Revealing Ronin Hack

Following the recent attack on the Ronin Network, a new revelation showed that the co-founder and CEO of the video game Axie Infinity, Trung Nguyen, moved AXS – the native token of Axie Infinity – worth $3 million to crypto exchange giant Binance, hours before announcing the hacking incident.

  • According to Bloomberg on Thursday (July 28, 2022), the unusual large transaction was first discovered by a YouTube gaming channel with the name “Asobs,” who connected the digital wallet to Nguyen after on-chain forensics.
  • Asobs later shared findings with Bloomberg Businessweek, which in turn showed the on-chain data to Sky Mavis, the company behind Axie Infinity, for verification.
  • Sky Mavis indeed verified that the wallet, which moved $3 million in AXS token to Binance, belonged to Nguyen.
  • Meanwhile, Kalie Moore, a spokeswoman for Sky Mavis, said that the Axie Infinity CEO transferred the funds to the crypto exchange to enable the company to provide liquidity, while also preventing short sellers from front-running the news. Moore said:

“At the time, we (Sky Mavis) understood that our position and options would be better the more AXS we had on Binance. This would give us the flexibility to pursue different options for securing the loans/capital required. The Founding Team chose to transfer it from this wallet to ensure that short-sellers, who track official Axie wallets, would not be able to front-run the news.”

  • Asobs also saw other fund movements around the same time. These transfers were from wallets believed to be linked to Axie, but Sky Mavis did not confirm if the wallets belonged to other employees.
  • As previously reported by CryptoPotato, Axie Infinity’s Ronin Network suffered a breach on March 23rd, discovered nearly a week later. The hacker stole 173,600 Ethereum and 25.5M USDC, worth over $600 million at the time.

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