According to Chainalysis, cross-chain bridges are the leading cause of hacks in the crypto ecosystem

In its latest report, a few days after the Nomad hack, Chainalysis highlighted the danger that cross-chain bridges currently pose in terms of security to their users. It turns out that 2/3 of the total stolen cryptocurrencies since the beginning of the year come from this type of protocol.

Chain lights point out the weakness of cross chain bridges

According to a new study by chain analysis, 69% of the total cryptocurrencies stolen since the beginning of the year comes bridges cross chain.

A cross-chain bridge allows a token to be transferred fromone blockchain to another when this is not possible built-in. Often they constitute important sources of liquidity, especially when an asset is deposited and traded in its packaged form. This is, for example, the case Wrapped Bitcoinwhich requires lock bitcoin (BTC) to issue the equivalent in wBTC (Bitcoin Packed) on Ethereum blockchain (ETH).

Chainalysis argues, with supporting data, that cross-chain bridges can currently be considered one barrier to blockchain adoption. In fact, they have single-handedly accumulated more than $2 billion in stolen cryptocurrencies on their protocol since the beginning of the year, which seriously raises the question of the trust that can be placed in them.

Illustration of the amount of cryptocurrencies stolen via bridges (in orange) compared to the total number (in blue)

Note that according to the report, of this $2 billion was deducted, half would have been stolen by North Korean hackersespecially of the group Lazaruswhose name pops up often, like during the colossal hack of the Ronin sidechain 624 million dollars March last year and was the largest to date.

Especially because of this attack the first quarter of 2022 was the heaviest for the industry in terms of losses, although the one we started in July includes the very recent bridge hack $190 million Nomad.

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What can be done to improve the situation?

According to the report, centralized exchanges is today abandoned by hackers since overall emphasis is placed on constantly strengthening their securitya significant measure considering significant amounts hosted there and circulates there.

Actually hackersthus orienting towards decentralized protocols which hosts the largest amounts of liquidity, which is the case with cross-chain bridges, as we said earlier. It is also important that smart contracts are developed for provide infallible security implemented within decentralized economy (DeFi).

It would therefore be interesting for the various teams of the many projects operating in this sector decide to cooperate together to assess how to make cross-linked bridges as safe as possible.

Finally, according to Chainalysis, another complementary solution would be to introduce solutions to achieve instantly trace funds stolen during hacks. It could thus, in cooperation with the various actors in the ecosystem, e.g freeze the funds in question or at least mark them as stolen.

👉 In the news: Solana Hack – $6 million transferred from Phantom and Slope Wallets

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Source: Chainalysis

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