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Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange, will help victims of a $615 million robbery

The business targeted in the heist, Binance, said on Wednesday that it is leading investors’ contributions to a bailout of victims of a $615 million digital token theft.

The game Axie Infinity, which is hosted by the Vietnam-based business Sky Mavis, was hit by one of the largest crypto heists on record last week, leaving customers unable to withdraw their funds from the game.

Sky Mavis said it will make up the difference with a mix of cash on hand and $150 million raised from investors such as cryptocurrency exchange Binance and startup capital firm a16z.

“Sky Mavis is committed to reimbursing all of our users’ lost funds and implementing rigorous internal security measures to prevent future attacks,” said Sky Mavis CEO Trung Nguyen.

The part of the network which was hacked, a blockchain “bridge” called Ronin, which allows users to move funds in and out of the game, will reopen after a security upgrade and audits which “can take several weeks”, Sky Mavis added.

Users will be able to withdraw and deposit money during the “funding round,” according to the company.

Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, said, “We strongly believe Sky Mavis will bring a lot of value and growth for the larger industry and we believe it’s necessary to support them as they work hard to resolve the recent incident.”

Binance and Sky Mavis did not specify how much of the $150 million would be provided by Binance.

Axie Infinity, a game created by Sky Mavis, allows its 2.2 million users to buy and sell in-game assets in the form of NFTs, which they compete for to earn crypto tokens.

“While racing for mainstream adoption, we made some trade-offs that ended up leaving us vulnerable to this sort of attack,” the company’s website said in a post announcing the fundraising. “It’s a lesson that we’ve learned the hard way.”

Hackers have long plagued the $2.1 trillion cryptocurrency industry, which experienced a surge in investment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wormhole, a crypto platform, was robbed of $320 million in February, making it one of the largest crypto heists ever. Jump Trading’s cryptocurrency arm, which had recently bought Wormhole’s developer, contributed funds to replace the stolen money.

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