Millions of Dollars From Crypto Whales Are Trapped in Bridge Contracts, Arkham’s New Report Reveals

By DeFi Planet
about 1 month ago

There is a growing trend of several crypto addresses holding millions of dollars in various bridge contracts, either stuck or forgotten, according to blockchain intelligence firm Arkham. 

The firm’s findings, shared in a social media post on April 22nd, noted that this concerning trend affects prominent entities such as Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, and several DeFi whales. According to the data provided by Arkham, the accounts that are affected have balances ranging from six to seven figures. 

One notable case highlighted by Arkham involves a wallet that received 50 Ether (ETH) from Buterin and has since had $1.05 million trapped in the Optimism bridge for seven months. While this represents a fraction of Buterin’s overall cryptocurrency portfolio, it underscores the broader challenge of funds becoming immobilised in bridge contracts.

Another wallet, potentially linked to Bofur Capital, holds $1.8 million in wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) stuck in the Arbitrum bridge for over 27 months. Additionally, Thomasg.eth, the pseudonymous founder of Arrow, reportedly has $800,000 in Ether trapped in the Arbitrum bridge.

According to Arkham, Coinbase’s attempt to bridge $75,000 in USD Coin (USDC) to Ethereum using the Optimism bridge six months ago has also faced issues, as the funds remain unclaimed on Ethereum’s base layer.

While it is possible that the owners of these wallets still retain control of the funds and have voluntarily chosen to leave them in the bridge contracts, the situation underscores the risks associated with cross-chain bridges. 

These bridges play a crucial role in modular blockchain networks like Ethereum, offloading transaction responsibilities to layer 2 solutions. However, they have increasingly become targets for hackers due to vulnerabilities in smart contracts or centralized validator sets.

Arkham has advised individuals and entities to review their transaction histories and bridge activities to ensure that all assets are accurately tracked and accounted for.


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