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(Reuters) — Blockchain project Ronin said Tuesday that hackers stole cryptocurrency now worth almost $615 million from its systems, in what would be one of the largest cryptocurrency heists on record.
The project said that unidentified hackers on March 23 stole some 173,600 ether tokens and 25.5 million USD Coin tokens. At current exchange rates, the stolen funds are worth $615 million, but they were worth some $540 million at the time of the attack.
This makes it the second-largest crypto theft on record, according to blockchain analysis company Elliptic.
Ronin is used to power the popular online game Axie Infinity, which uses non-fungible tokens and is the biggest NFT collection by all-time sales volume, according to NFT market tracker CryptoSlam.
Ronin said in a blog post that the hacker had used stolen private keys — the passwords needed to access crypto funds —to make off with the funds.
It said it had discovered the hack on Tuesday. “We are working directly with various government agencies to ensure the criminals get brought to justice,” it said, adding that it was discussing with Axie Infinity how to ensure no users' funds were lost.