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Network Vulnerability Report Prompts THORChain to Cease Operations

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  • What – In light of recent allegations of a potential network vulnerability, the THORChain network. 
  • Why – It is utilized for its cross-chain liquidity protocol. has decided to suspend its operations.
  • What Next – It has decided to suspend its operations.

The Mainnet At Exploitation Risk 

On March 28, THORChain announced a temporary halt to all trading activities following reports of a potential vulnerability with a THORChain dependency that could jeopardize the network. According to THORChain’s statement, the pause was implemented as a precaution while the reports were being investigated.

In response to the reports that surfaced on social media, indicating that THORChain’s liquidity platform Nine Realms and dedicated security team THORSec had received reliable information about a potential vulnerability affecting the network, the platform announced shutting down all the trading activities across the globe. The platform has undertaken this step to protect its clientele and verify the threat. 

Nine Realms also confirmed the suspension of its network in a tweet, stating that they did it preemptively to examine the report, with further updates to follow. CoinGecko data shows that the price of THORChain’s native token RUNE dropped by almost 5% to $1.31 following the announcement, representing an 18% decrease over the previous 30 days as of the time of writing.

THORChain and its previous SNAFUs

Launched in 2018, THORChain is a decentralized cross-chain liquidity protocol that allows users to trade assets across multiple blockchain networks without relying on centralized exchanges. The settlement layer of THORChain facilitates trades between eight different chains, including Bitcoin, BNB Chain, Ethereum, Cosmos, Avalanche, Litecon, Dogecoin, and Bitcoin Cash.

The ongoing halting of the THORChain network is not the first time it has undergone many such occurrences in the past as well. In October 2022, a software flaw caused “non-determinism amongst individual nodes,” leading to a temporary network suspension. 

The network was offline for 20 hours and was restored to full functionality after maintenance. Additionally, in 2021, a breach in the protocol resulted in the theft of $7.6 million worth of crypto assets, leading to another shutdown of the THORChain network.

Many crypto enthusiasts could not hide their surprise in response to the news of THORChain halting its operation. They have questioned THORChain’s decentralization, considering the team’s ability to stop all its operations quickly. Some have questioned how the team obtained consensus from nodes in time to suspend all its trading activities quickly. However, others have praised the team for acting swiftly to prevent potential exploits that could result in losses.

According to CoinGecko, the price of the RUNE token has dropped by 4.8% in the past 24 hours, reaching $1.33, in line with the general market trend. During this period, Bitcoin’s value has decreased by 2.5%, and the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies has fallen by 2.2%.

As per DeFi Llama, the protocol’s locked assets are worth $113.8 million, which has seen a 3.82% decrease in a single day.

It is also worth noting that the project’s mainnet went live in June but was temporarily shut down a month later due to multiple hacking attempts.

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