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Revealing the tactics employed by cybercriminals to launder money through gaming.

In 2021, an unidentified hacker exploited the Uranium Finance platform, resulting in a substantial loss of $50 million, including 80 bitcoins, 1,800 ETH, and other assets. An analysis conducted by the anonymous blockchain expert, ZachXBT, unveiled that the attacker utilized the popular card game Magic: The Gathering as a means to launder a portion of the illicitly obtained funds. Following the Uranium Finance breach, the assailant transferred 2,438 ETH to Tornado Cash, converting various cryptocurrencies into ETH and bitcoin.

During 2021, the hacker systematically withdrew approximately 11,200 ETH from Tornado Cash in increments of 100 coins. These funds were then exchanged for "wrapped" ETH (WETH), subsequently transferred to a new address, and converted into USDC stablecoins. A notable portion of these ill-gotten gains was used to acquire Magic: The Gathering cards through an American intermediary. The broker, acting on behalf of the hacker, maintained the buyer's anonymity while engaging with sellers. The hacker spent millions on purchasing starter decks, alpha packs, and sealed boxes of cards, often paying a premium of 5-10%.

Additionally, some of the illicitly acquired funds were routed through centralized exchanges, including Kraken, Bitpay, and Coinbase. These measures, as suggested by ZachXBT, were implemented to complicate the tracing of funds back to their origin, likely stemming from the 2021 Uranium Finance hack.

The Uranium Finance breach in April 2021 marked a significant incident in the decentralized finance (DeFi) realm, resulting from a protocol code error. The platform, a derivative of the popular Uniswap V2, operates on the Binance Smart Chain. The hacker exploited a miscalculation during the migration to the V2 protocol, enabling the withdrawal of various cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Binance USD (BUSD), Tether (USDT), Cardano (ADA), Polkadot (DOT), Wrapped BNB (wBNB), and native Uranium U92 tokens.