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“Magic: The Gathering” Cards Used in Possible Cashout by Uranium Finance Hacker

In 2021, a hacker who targeted the Uranium Finance decentralized finance (DeFi) platform may have attempted to launder stolen cryptocurrency gains by using “Magic: The Gathering” trading cards. Blockchain investigator ZachXBT, operating under a pseudonym, detailed the hacker’s actions in an X thread on Thursday.

According to the investigation, the hacker withdrew 11,200 ETH over the past year from Tornado Cash in 100 ETH increments. Subsequently, the hacker engaged in a series of transactions, converting the withdrawn ETH to wrapped ETH (WETH) and transferring it to a different address. The individual then exchanged it for USDC and used a portion of the funds to purchase “Magic: The Gathering” trading cards.

Additionally, a portion of the funds was deposited into centralized exchanges, including Kraken, Bitpay, and Coinbase.

The on-chain investigator highlighted that the additional steps taken, such as depositing funds into centralized exchanges and the purchase of trading cards, could be strategic efforts to complicate the tracing of funds back to their original source. This source is likely associated with the 2021 exploit of the Uranium Finance decentralized exchange, given the correlation in timing between the deposit of funds by the Uranium hacker into Tornado Cash and the subsequent withdrawal by the individual purchasing “Magic: The Gathering” cards.

“In March 2023, the Uranium hacker deposited 52 X 100 ETH to Tornado & this person received 52 X 100 ETH,” noted ZachXBT. “March 6 & 14: Uranium Hacker deposits 52 X 100 ETH to Tornado. March 7 & 15: Our person withdrew huge volumes from Tornado.”

To acquire the trading cards, ZachXBT revealed that the hacker initially used the services of a U.S.-based broker who, in turn, contacted sellers on their behalf. While communicating with multiple sellers during the transactions, it was discovered that the buyer was making substantial purchases, spending millions on items such as starter decks, alpha sets, and sealed boxes.

Interestingly, the hacker overpaid by 5-10% for these items. The hacker maintained complete anonymity and never revealed their identity to the sellers, conducting transactions through the broker and sending cryptocurrency upfront.

Uranium Finance, a decentralized finance platform on the Binance Smart Chain and a Uniswap fork, suffered a major $50 million loss in a 2021 hack. The hacker exploited a calculation error in the platform’s code, allowing them to drain liquidity from the protocol.

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Cryptocurrency is essentially virtual money that operates in a decentralized manner, not through a bank but directly on multiple independent computers.

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