Railgun denies being used by North Korea as it nears $1B total volume

Railgun, a crypto privacy protocol, has refuted allegations that it has been utilized by North Korea and other sanctioned entities for laundering cryptocurrencies. They maintain that their zero-knowledge technology makes such activities impossible and claim there is no substantial proof to back up the accusations.

As the Railgun platform approaches reaching a total value of $1 billion, its growth is fueled in part by a recent endorsement and defense of its privacy protocol from Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin on X.

Established in January 2021, Railgun employs advanced zero-knowledge (ZK) encryption technology to safeguard users’ wallet balances, transaction records, and specific transaction information. This feature enables users to engage with decentralized apps (DApps) on Ethereum or compatible networks while preserving their privacy.

Elliptic, a company specializing in blockchain security, identified Railgun as a viable substitute for Tornado Cash following the US authorities’ imposition of sanctions on the latter crypto mixing service.

In early 2023, the FBI revealed that North Korean hackers, employing the tool “Railgun,” successfully laundered over $60 million in Ethereum (ETH) stolen during the 2022 Harmony Bridge heist.

In a recent post on X, Railgun refuted crypto journalist Colin Wu’s claim that Lazarus employed the privacy protocol. According to Railgun, this report was unfounded.

Railgun denies being used by North Korea as it nears $1B total volume

Initially, that specific group is prevented from accessing the RAILGUN system due to the “Private Proofs of Innocence” mechanism, which has been active for more than a year now. (Railgun’s statement on X)

“Secondly, it was a mistaken, false allegation in the first place,” it added.

In early 2023, the team at Railgun introduced a new project called Private Proofs of Innocence, or Private POI.

The Railgun smart contract employs cryptographic verification to prevent unwanted funds from entering by asking users to generate a zero-knowledge proof demonstrating that their transaction funds are not linked to a previously identified list of problematic transactions or wallets.

Buterin continues to advocate for Railgun, stating that “it’s natural to prioritize privacy” and that the privacy pools protocol makes it more challenging for malicious actors to participate.

Railgun denies being used by North Korea as it nears $1B total volume

According to data from Dune Analytics, the Railgun platform recorded a total trading volume of $962.8 million and surpassed $25 million in value locked on Ethereum, where most of its activity takes place.

On April 15, the value of Railgun (RAIL) increased following news that Ethereum co-founder Buterin transferred $325,000 worth of ETH, or 100 ETH units, to Railgun’s account earlier that day.

The token is now trading at $1.18 and is up 86.3% over the past seven days.

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2024-04-17 04:15