Sky Mavis’ Ronin sidechain expands to 17 validators to boost security

Quick Take

  • Ronin has added three new validators to the project, and increased its validator set to 17.
  • The new Ronin validators include Efficient Frontier, Community Gaming and Nansen.

Ronin, an Ethereum-linked sidechain that hosts the Axie Infinity play-to-earn game, has added three new validators as it aims to boost security following the $600 million hack in March.

The Ronin development team, funded by Axie Infinity creator Sky Mavis, said in a blog post that the number of validators securing its chain has now grown from 14 to 17. Adding new validators means the number of parties verifying transactions on the sidechain has grown.  

The three entities that have been added as Ronin validators include Efficient Frontier, Community Gaming and Nansen, the Ronin team said. Furthermore, it added that it is moving closer to the target of establishing 21 independent validators. 

“We are thrilled to introduce three new Ronin network validators, bringing our total to 17, making progress towards achieving our initial goal of 21 independent validators collectively securing the network,” the Ronin team said in its blog post.

Ronin is still recovering from one of the largest crypto hacks ever in March of this year. During the exploit, hackers, later identified as the North Korean group Lazarus, took control over five out of the nine validator nodes on Ronin. This allowed them to steal 173,600 ETH and 25.5 million USDC from the bridge, which amounted to a theft of more than $600 million.

The team raised $150 million from a group of investors, including crypto exchange Binance and VC firms a16z and Paradigm, as part of its efforts to reimburse affected users.

As a post-hack security measure, the team announced in April that it would expand the number of validators. On a proof-of-stake blockchain such as Ronin, validators verify transactions on the basis of majority consensus or agreement of validators. As such, having more validators usually leads to an improvement in security.


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About Author

Vishal Chawla is a reporter who has covered the ins and outs of the tech industry for more than half a decade. Prior to joining The Block, Vishal worked for media firms like Crypto Briefing, IDG ComputerWorld and CIO.com. Follow him on Twitter @vishal4c.