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



The US Treasury Division Workplace of Overseas Property 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 stated in an announcement:

“Immediately, for the primary time ever, Treasury is sanctioning a digital foreign money mixer. […] We’re taking motion in opposition to 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 america or within the possession of U.S. individuals is blocked and have to be reported to OFAC.

Based on OFAC, Blender.io processed $20.5 million out of roughly $620 million stolen from the Vietnam-based play-to-earn sport within the type of roughly 173,600 Ether (ETH) and 25.5 million USD Coin (USDC). OFAC also found during its investigation that Blender.io had facilitated money laundering for Russia-linked ransomware groups including Trickbot, Conti, Ryuk, Sodinokibi and Gandcrab. The Blender.io website was offline at the time of writing.

The Treasury agency also added the addresses of four wallets used by Lazarus Group to launder some of the stolen funds to its List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons.

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

The Ronin Bridge hack came about on March 23, however it was solely found the next week. The bridge was accessed by means 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 in a position to get better $5.8 million of the cash from 86 accounts. Lazarus Group was recognized because the hackers by OFAC in mid-April.