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Arkham finds unclaimed funds worth millions at addresses linked to major bridge contracts

It is therefore necessary to strengthen security measures to prevent similar situations from arising in the future and to protect users from losing their funds.

Date: 2024-04-23 Author: Łukasz Michałek
Arkham finds unclaimed funds worth millions at addresses linked to major bridge contracts

Blockchain intelligence firm Arkham has discovered several crypto addresses containing millions of dollars that were either “stuck” or “forgotten” in two large bridge contracts.

In an April 22 X post, Arkham revealed that a number of accounts, including those of Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and various DeFi whales, contain significant funds trapped in bridging contracts.

Arkham substantiated its findings by releasing screenshots showing fund transfers to and from the Arbitrum and Optimism bridges.

$1 million in Optimism bridge

One notable case highlighted by Arkham involves a wallet that received 50 Ether (ETH) from Buterin, with $1.05 million stuck in the Optimism bridge for the past seven months.

However, if the wallet does indeed belong to Buterin, the amount represents only a small portion of his $789 million cryptocurrency portfolio, according to Arkham.

Other examples include a wallet linked to Bofur Capital, potentially linked to creditor Celsius, which has $1.8 million in packaged Bitcoin (WBTC) trapped in the Arbitrum Bridge for the past 27 months.

Another wallet, owned by Thomasg.eth, the pseudonymous founder of decentralized air transport solution Arrow, contains $800,000 worth of ether locked in the Arbitrum bridge.

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In addition, Arkham reported that Coinbase six months ago attempted to connect $75,000 in USD Coin (USDC) to Ethereum via the Optimism bridge, but the funds were not received in the Ethereum base layer.

Although the funds remain unclaimed, it is possible that the wallet’s owners still retain full control and have decided to temporarily park the funds there.

Cross-chain bridges play a key role in modular blockchain networks such as Ethereum, shifting transactional responsibilities to Layer 2 solutions while prioritizing the availability and security of data at the base layer.

However, bridges have become an attractive target for hackers due to potentially vulnerable smart contracts or centralized validator sets.

An example of this is the $650 million hack of the Ronin Bridge organized by the North Korean state-backed Lazarus group, which gained access to five of the nine private keys held by transaction validators in March 2022.

Arkham launches decentralized Intel-to-Earn marketplace

Last year, Arkham unveiled the Arkham Intel Exchange, which it called the world’s first on-chain “intelligence marketplace.” The platform is expected to create a new way to share and trade blockchain-related information, creating a new market and opportunity for on-chain researchers.

The company said at the time that there is significant demand for on-chain analysis from a variety of people, such as traders, investors, journalists, researchers and protocols. It also noted that the growing community of talented on-chain researchers needed a platform that would enable them to monetize their skills.

Intel Exchange addresses these challenges by connecting information on the chain through a rewards mechanism. In the announcement, the company wrote:

“Intel Exchange in Arkham finally gives these talented researchers the opportunity to monetize their skills and meet the growing demand for on-chain research in a scalable way – connecting both sides of the on-chain intelligence economy.”

The platform uses a rewards mechanism for this purpose. Users who need specific information on the chain can request it by posting rewards. These rewards will then be redeemed by “bounty hunters,” experienced blockchain researchers who will provide the requested intelligence in exchange for payment.

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Łukasz Michałek
Łukasz Michałek
Founder of the rapidly developing cryptocurrency channel "Biblia Kryptowalut" on YouTube. He also co-creates the Arena Trading group with Marek. Łukasz is fascinated and passionate about blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, which constitute the central element of his activity in the cryptocurrency industry.
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