Early last year, the popular blockchain game, Axie Infinity, became subject to the largest cryptocurrency to date when hackers stole $625 million worth of in-game assets. By targeting Ronin, a blockchain service run by Axie Infinity’s owners, the hackers were able to take control of the entire network, and seamlessly send 173.600 ethers, as well as withdrawing $25.5 million of USD coin.
The theft comes as a significant blow to the rising popularity of blockchain games that, as well as Axie Infinity, include releases like Decentraland and The Sandbox. And, with players paying anywhere from $100-$1000 just to get started on Axie Infinity, it has naturally raised some doubts about the game’s long-term financial viability.
This is especially true as the Ronin hack joins a long line of wallets attacked in a recent spate of crypto crimes. But, as with any crime of this nature, the Axie Infinity hack can serve as a warning that reminds us all to improve our security online. For gamers looking to enjoy blockchain decentralization, crimes like these certainly shouldn’t be off-putting, but they should encourage more intentional, informed crypto security standards, like the following –
1. Be wise with your passwordsPassword struggles aren’t exactly new, but with 53% of online users still using the same password for various accounts, it remains a significant security weak point for crypto wallets. We get it gamers, the last thing you want to be doing is thinking about a wealth of different passwords for every game or crypto wallet that you’re utilizing at a given time. But, for the sake of a little extra effort, you could save yourself from being wiped out in one fell swoop.
2. Don’t assume game wallets are bestGiven that it was developed by Axel Infinity’s creators, most players automatically kept their in-game crypto within Ronin. Hence hackers were able to get hold of so much. Unfortunately, like many game-specific wallets, Ronin made the mistake of being more centralized than many DeFI services for the sake of ease. This makes such wallets a far more substantial risk factor and can be avoided by simply moving your cryptocurrencies away from the game, either for direct exchanges on a platform like Geekmetaverse or to a truly decentralized wallet such as Exodus.
3. Don’t fall for phishingPhishing scams are almost as old as the internet, and they’re still thriving across crypto-specific attacks, including one in 2001 that directly attacked Ronin. Worse, attackers will often target in-game chats and communities, making it especially crucial for gamers to always be on the lookout. Most obviously, this means always double-checking any email or chat links before you click. Furthermore, always reach out to the game’s development team for verifications if in doubt. And, of course, no matter what a ‘fellow gamer’ claims, never give out your private keys!
Bitcoin gaming feels a lot like a step toward the future, but it’s down to you to ensure the viability of that future with these crucial tips!