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Axie Infinity CEO moved funds to Binance before disclosing Ronin bridge hack


Axie Infinity CEO and co-founder Trung Nguyen moved $3 million worth of AXS tokens to Binance before disclosing the Ronin bridge exploit, Bloomberg News reported on July 28.

Axie Infinity lost over $600 million to North Korea-linked hackers on March 29. The game developer temporarily suspended the operations of the Ronin bridge following the hack, with Binance following suit.

The report revealed that Nguyen made a $3 million AXS token transfer three hours before Sky Mavis announced the hack and suspended access to Ronin bridge.

According to the report, the transfer came at a critical period when “anyone who knew what was going on would have had a strong incentive to sell tokens in the system before they were temporarily locked up.”

Sky Mavis representative Kalie Moore also confirmed that the transaction happened. Moore said:

“At the time, we [Sky Mavis] understood that our position and options would be better the more AXS we had on Binance. This would give us the flexibility to pursue different options for securing the loans/capital required.”

Moore added that the decision to use Nguyen’s wallet prevented AXS short sellers from front-running the news. She described any other allegations as baseless.

Nguyen defends action

Following the report, Nguyen said the allegations and speculation of insider trading are baseless and false.

Nguyen said the game’s founding team also deposited $7.5 million from a known Axie multi-sig wallet to Ronin Network before the bridge’s operation was paused to avoid triggering short sellers watching.

Nguyen pointed out that the “Bridge has been re-opened with all player funds backed 1:1,” adding that the “media have conveniently ignored this, as it doesn’t fit their predetermined narratives.”

Meanwhile, Axie Infinity remains the most successful play-to-earn game, as it has sold over $4 billion worth of non-fungible tokens and had millions of players at its peak.

However, the game has lost traction since the attack and experienced an exodus of players from the platform.

AXS was trading at $19.15 as of press time — 88% below its all-time high of $164.

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