The Ronin sidechain was developed by Sky Mavis in the second half of 2020 to serve the needs of Axie Infinity – a Pokémon-inspired pay-to-earn game. Upon the launch of the Ronin network in February 2021 there was $5 million already deposited on it and an impressive 2 million wallet downloads. The Ronin chain utilizes a Proof-of-Authority consensus mechanism and some of the nodes validating the state of the network include partners like Binance, Unisoft, Animoca Brands, Nonfungible.com, Dapp.com, and others.
Ronin is an EVM-based smart-contract platform designed specifically to help developers building blockchain-based games with player-owned economies. As such, the network is structured as an Ethereum PoA sidechain, or as the Ronin Network team refers to it in its litepaper – an EVM compatible Ethereum fork.
The consensus mechanism employed by the network requires at least two-thirds of all validators to agree on the validity of a block before it gets added to the chain. Ronin Network validators also update price oracles and approve transfers of ETH, ERC-20, and ERC-721 assets to and from Ronin, through its Ronin Bridge.
As Ronin Network only uses a handful of validator nodes, currently 12, all of its validators are on-boarded from what the Ronin Network team views as “notable organizations that can add value to the Ronin community”. Validators on the Ronin Network are viewed as partners and governors of the network, some of the criteria depending on which they are selected include experience in blockchain infrastructure more precisely – experience running validator nodes, building useful applications on top of the Ronin chain, and driving adoption of Ronin dApps.
Ronin validator nodes are chosen by the current outstanding validators, however, there are plans for the future, where this process opens up to the broader community, but no more details are shared.
The Ronin Network fees and confirmation times, along with the ability to withdraw Axie Infinity assets back to the Ethereum Mainnet through the Ronin Bridge, and a fiat on-ramp providing simplified onboarding for new users, are viewed as its main advantages over similar solutions. As it was developed based on the Ethereum codebase, Ronin Network can be accessed through any web3 client.
To take part in the network, users can run a full Ronin node which requires a lot of disk space and hard drives with fast read and write speeds. There are minimum hardware requirements shared in the project’s documentation webpage.
Sky Mavis, the company behind Ronin, has also developed a Ronin wallet that has a mobile app version compatible both with Android and iOS, as well as a browser extension compatible with Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Mozilla Firefox. The Ronin wallet provides its users with 100 free transactions per day.
In an update released at the end of April 2022, the team changed the Ronin transaction fees mechanics to increase the utility of its native RON token. Following the update, users are required to hold RON tokens in their wallet to pay for making transactions, unless they own a special Axie or land. Each Axie Infinity account receives a certain number of free transactions per month based on the highest value NFT it has, however, the total free transactions, per month, are based on an average of the Axie assets owned and the number of days in a month they have been owned by the user.
RON is the Ronin network ecosystem token. It is seen as means of decentralization and security of the blockchain, as in the future there are plans to employ a DPoS consensus protocol and require all nodes to stake at least 50,000 RON tokens, subject to slashing in case the node misbehaves.
The maximum supply of the token is 1 billion, 30% of which are allocated to Sky Mavis, 30% are saved for the community, 25% are kept to be distributed as staking rewards once staking rolls out, and there is also a 15% allocated towards an Ecosystem development fund.
Ronin RON token can be purchased on centralized exchanges like Gate.io and Hotbit.
Ronin RON token can be purchased on decentralized exchanges like the Ronin native Katana exchange.
It is up to you where to buy the RON token. It is worth taking into account that decentralized exchanges allow you to do this anonymously, you do not need to pass KYC procedures to use them, on the other hand, the cost of transactions may be higher than on centralized exchanges, while there is a risk of your funds being held by the exchange.
To understand if Ronin is a good investment and try to make a RON price prediction, you need to do your own research on the project.
All the data for research is available on the project page on our website: check out the technical features of the project in this review, try to use the app, see if the information about the team is available and if the team is open for communication, and using the project dashboard and the RON price chart, assess the project usage rates as well as the token price movement and the number of its holders.
The Ronin network team, established by Sky Mavis, is led by the company’s co-founder and CEO Trung Nguyen – who portrays himself as a lifelong strategy gamer who went to build a blockchain-based game (Axie Infinity) inspired by his childhood favorites, “after experiencing CryptoKitties”. Besides Axie, the team is working on a game called Land that enables players to buy and sell virtual lands.
In March 2022, The Ronin Bridge, created by the Ronin network team, was exploited in what later became known as one of the largest exploits in crypto, worth a total of $650 million, denominated in 173,600 ETH and 25.5 million USDC. According to the official announcement of the Sky Mavis team regarding the incident, they are working with law enforcement officials, forensic cryptographers, and others to make sure all funds are recovered and users are reimbursed.
To make the attack possible, the hackers got hold of private keys to validator nodes, essentially compromising five validators – the threshold required for a transaction to be approved, as at the time the network only consisted of nine validator nodes.
It has been since established that the vulnerability that made the attack possible was a result of Axie DAO giving Sky Mavis access to sign transactions on its behalf to mitigate user volume in late 2021. Apparently, this access was never revoked and left a backdoor for the attackers to use.
Although the Ronin Bridge exploit occurred on March 23, it wasn’t discovered for nearly a week until the malicious party started using the stolen funds to short AXS and RON. The attackers were apparently trying to make more money, believing the news of the hack would eventually bring the whole market down, yet they got liquidated before the news broke as it took too much time.
Following the incident, the Ronin Bridge was closed until the investigation was complete. Sky Mavis made a promise all affected users will be reimbursed even if the lost funds aren’t recovered. At the beginning of April 2022, Sky Mavis raised $150 million in a funding round led by Binance and other popular investors, with plans to use the freshly acquired funds on reimbursing affected users following the Ronin Bridge hack.
Later, Elliptic – a crypto data analytics firm, managed to trace $540 million of the stolen funds and made a statement they believe the attackers have already started laundering the stolen funds. While stolen USDC was being swapped on DEXes for ETH, the wallet belonging to the attackers also started sending funds to popular currency mixer solutions such as Tornado Cash.
Two weeks into April 2022, the US Treasury Department tied the North Korean hacking groups – Lazarus and APT38 with the theft and referred to the FBI as the organization to determine the North Korean involvement in the incident. The Department of the Treasury announced that it had identified the wallet allegedly involved in the exploit. Sky Mavis later confirmed that it was the same wallet that was previously linked to the hacking attack in late March. However, exactly how the wallet was linked to the North Korean Lazarus Group goes unspecified. According to Elliptic, the analytics firm involved in the investigation, "Many features of the attack mirrored the method used by Lazarus Group in previous high-profile attacks, including the location of the victim, the attack method (believed to have involved social engineering) and the laundering pattern utilized by the group after the event."
The Ronin team has been working on restarting the Ronin Bridge and is undergoing security audits, Ronin will share with the public at a later point.
There are no official partnerships announced by the Ronin team, as the main reason for the network’s existence is supporting the Axie Infinity game.
The biggest goal in front of the Ronin network developers is the restart of the Ronin Bridge, according to the latest security roadmap, published by the company, the steps to be undergone before the relaunch is effective include the code going through an internal audit as well as two external ones, the first of which, completed by Verichains, has already been done, while the second is still to be completed by CertiK.
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