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Vitalik Buterin Has Over $1 Million Stuck in the Optimism Bridge

source-logo  beincrypto.com 23 April 2024 08:16, UTC

Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, reportedly has over $1 million trapped in the Optimism bridge.

This revelation comes from a broader examination by Arkham, a blockchain intelligence firm, which disclosed that numerous crypto addresses have substantial amounts lodged in bridge contracts across different networks.

Cross-Chain Challenges: Ethereum Wallets Grapple With Locked Assets

A wallet address that received 50 Ethereum (ETH) from Buterin’s identifiable Ethereum Name Service (ENS) address vitalik.eth, has seen $1.05 immobile for the past seven months. If genuinely linked to Buterin, these funds represent merely a sliver of his vast $781 million cryptocurrency holdings.

Arkham’s investigation revealed that numerous crypto addresses have substantial sums similarly locked in bridge contracts. These include addresses linked to major entities like crypto exchange Coinbase and several DeFi whales.

For example, a wallet associated with Bofur Capital has $1.8 million in wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) stuck in the Arbitrum bridge for 27 months.

“Bofur Capital’s 27 Bitcoin has been sitting in the Arbitrum bridge for over two years now, and is now worth almost $2 million,” Arkham said.

Read more: How To Use Arbitrum Bridge To Bridge Ethereum Tokens

Bofur Capital’s Transaction of 27 Bitcoin. Source: Arkham

Furthermore, Thomasg.eth, the pseudonymous founder behind the decentralized air transportation solution Arrow, has $800,000 in ETH immobile in the same bridge.

Moreover, Coinbase attempted to bridge $75,000 in USD Coin (USDC) to Ethereum six months ago via the Optimism bridge. Despite the successful transfer, these funds have not been retrieved on Ethereum’s foundational layer. This situation hints at either an overlooked recovery process or a deliberate pause in claiming the transferred assets.

Cross-chain bridges like Optimism are crucial in blockchain networks like Ethereum. Bridges facilitate the movement of assets across distinct blockchains without needing a central authority, aiming to solve interoperability issues inherent in blockchain architectures.

The situations involving Buterin and others illustrate the complexities and risks of managing funds across decentralized platforms. There is a chance that the owners of these wallets may have intentionally left their assets within these bridges. Nonetheless, the potential for these funds to be stuck due to technical issues cannot be disregarded.

Read more: How To Use the Polygon Bridge: A Step-by-Step Guide

Also, these bridges come with significant security risks. They have become focal points for cyber-attacks, with billions of dollars lost in recent years.

Notable security breaches include the $650 million Ronin bridge hack by North Korea’s Lazarus Group and the $100 million theft from the Harmony Horizon Bridge, highlighting the vulnerability of these crucial network junctures.