DeFi whales have millions ‘forgotten’ in bridge contracts: Arkham

According to Arkham, a blockchain intelligence firm, over two major cryptocurrency bridges, there are numerous unclaimed crypto addresses holding millions of dollars each. These funds may be considered “stranded” or “unintentionally overlooked.”

In a post on April 22, Arkham mentioned that there are around sixty forgotten accounts with large balances, worth between six and seven figures, in bridge contracts. Some of these accounts can be traced back to Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, crypto exchange Coinbase, and several prominent DeFi whales.

The company included two images of transactions between the Arbitrum and Optimism bridges as evidence for their argument.

DeFi whales have millions ‘forgotten’ in bridge contracts: Arkham

For the past seven months, $1.05 million worth of Ether (ETH), or approximately 50 units, has been trapped in the Optimism bridge for an address linked to Buterin. Given Buterin’s significant crypto wealth estimated at $789 million by Arkham’s records, this amount would represent a minimal portion of his holdings.

A wallet associated with Bofur Capital, bearing the same name as a Celsius debtor, holds approximately $1.8 million in wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) within the Arbitrum bridge. This amount has remained stationary for over 27 months. In contrast, Thomasg.eth — the anonymous founder of Arrow, a decentralized air transportation project — maintains around $800,000 worth of Ether in the same Arbitrum bridge and has not transferred it for an extended period.

Six months ago, Coinbase attempted to transfer $75,000 worth of USDC coins to Ethereum through the Optimism bridge. However, these funds have not been retrieved from the Ethereum mainnet as of now, according to Arkham’s statement.

The wallet owners may still hold the power to manage the funds and have deliberately kept them in their wallets for now.

In simpler terms, cross-chain bridges serve a crucial role in complex blockchain systems such as Ethereum. They focus on ensuring data accessibility and security at the fundamental level, while delegating transaction processing tasks to secondary layers.

Yet, bridges connecting different blockchains pose a significant risk, as they may be managed by automated smart contracts that could contain vulnerabilities or a concentrated group of validators.

In March 2022, North Korea’s sponsored hacking group, Lazarus, gained access to five out of the nine private keys controlled by Ronin bridge transaction validators. Subsequently, they carried out a $650 million heist in May 2022.

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2024-04-23 08:08