Railgun, a crypto privacy protocol, has refuted allegations that it is being exploited by North Korea and other restricted groups as per US sanctions, for laundering digital assets.

This development comes as the crypto privacy protocol nears $1B total volume.

Railgun Denies Lazarus Group Association

In response to claims made by crypto reporter Colin Wu on a Reddit thread, Railgun refuted accusations that it is connected to the notorious North Korean hacker group, Lazarus.

A North Korean hacking gang called Lazarus Group employs the use of the cryptocurrency tumbler, Railgun. Railgun has emerged as a popular choice following the imposition of sanctions on Tornado Cash, which was previously the go-to option.

In early 2023, the FBI released a declaration implicating Railgun in the laundering of more than $60 million in stolen Ethereum from the Harmony Bridge theft that occurred in the previous year. (Or: Railgun was identified by the FBI in their January 2023 statement as being involved in washing over $60 million in illegally obtained Ethereum, which had been taken during the Harmony Bridge incident in 2022.)

Starting from 2023, any transaction involving RAILGUN will undergo a rigorous Private Proofs of Innocence verification process. This step is taken to ensure that no individuals, governments, or entities previously sanctioned, such as North Korea, have used the protocol without concrete evidence. The previous claims suggesting their involvement are based on speculation alone.

— Wu Blockchain (@WuBlockchain) April 16, 2024

“Railgun clarified that this statement is untrue. The team explained that Lazarus group has been unable to infiltrate the Railgun system since the implementation of its ‘Private Proofs of Innocence’ security measure over a year ago. Railgun also denounced the accusation as an erroneous and misleading allegation.”

Amidst a significant increase in Railgun’s overall volume approaching the $1 billion milestone, new progress emerges. According to Dune Analytics, Railgun has amassed a total volume of $962.81 million, and its value locked on Ethereum exceeds $25 million.

Buterin’s Endorsement of Railgun

Vitalik Buterin, one of Ethereum’s co-founders, has given the protocol a boost in recognition by endorsing it and commending its privacy functions.

“Buterin emphasized that privacy is standard. Notably, Railgun employs the privacy pools protocol, making it significantly more challenging for malicious actors to infiltrate the pool without breaching users’ privacy.”

In the past two days, as reported by Arkham Intelligence, Buterin moved 100 ETH (equivalent to around $325,000) into Railgun’s account. Previously, over a six-month period, he frequently engaged with Railgun, using modest amounts of Ether in each transaction.

Starting from January 2021, Railgun has been providing an enhanced level of security by employing zero-knowledge cryptography. With this technology, sensitive information such as wallet balances, past transactions, and specific transaction details are concealed. As a result, users can confidently engage with decentralized applications (DApps) without compromising their privacy.

Starting in January 2023, Railgun implemented a new feature called Private Proofs of Innocence. This addition strengthened Railgun’s security by employing cryptographic verification to authenticate the validity of funds being transferred into its smart contract.

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2024-04-21 22:18