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

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

Chainalysis emphasizes the weakness of cross-chain bridges

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

A cross-chain bridge allows you to transfer a token fromone blockchain to another when this is not possible natively. They often constitute important sources of liquidity, especially when an asset is deposited and traded in its wrapped form. This is for example the case with Bitcoin wrappedthat requires block bitcoin (BTC) to issue its equivalent in wBTC (Bitcoin wrapped) turned on the Ethereum blockchain (ETH).

Chainalysis states, with supporting data, that cross-chain bridges can currently be considered a obstacle to the adoption of the blockchain. In fact, alone, they have accumulated more than $ 2 billion worth of cryptocurrencies stolen 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 bridge (in orange) compared to the total (in blue)

Note that according to the report, of these $ 2 billion stolen, half would have been stolen by North Korean hackersespecially from the group Lazaruswhose name recurs frequently, as during the colossal Ronin side chain hack in $ 624 million last March, becoming the largest to date.

Mainly due to this attack, the the first quarter of 2022 was the heaviest for the sector 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, the centralized exchanges I am today abandoned by hackers since on the whole, the emphasis is on constant strengthening of their securityessential measure given the considerable volumes housed there and circulates there.

Indeed, the hackerstherefore move towards decentralized protocols which host the largest amounts of liquidity, as is the case with cross-chain bridges as we said earlier. Furthermore, it is imperative that smart contracts are developed for provide foolproof security be implemented within decentralized finance (DeFi).

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

Finally, according to Chainalysis, a second complementary solution would be to implement solutions to be achieved instantly track funds stolen during hacks. Thus, in collaboration with the various actors of the ecosystem, it could for example be possible freeze the affected funds or at least mark them as stolen.

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Source: chain analysis

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