THORChain is a decentralized cross-chain liquidity protocol that enables users to swap assets between different blockchain networks without needing centralized exchanges. The platform, founded in 2018, currently offers swaps between eight different chains, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
On March 28, THORChain announced that it had temporarily paused all trading due to reports of a potential vulnerability with a THORChain dependency that could impact the network. The decision was made as a precautionary measure while the reports were verified, according to THORChain. Social media reports had indicated that THORChain’s liquidity platform, Nine Realms, and its dedicated security team, THORSec, had received “credible reports” of a possible vulnerability affecting THORChain. As a result, the THORChain network was halted globally.
“Network preemptively paused by NO’s to investigate the report; updates will follow,” Nine Realms tweeted.
THORChain’s native token, Rune (RUNE), has dropped about 5% in value following the news, according to CoinGecko data. As of this writing, the token is trading at $1.32, down 18% over the past 30 days.
This is not the first time that THORChain has had to pause its network due to issues. In October 2022, the network was paused due to a software bug that caused “non-determinism between individual nodes.” After 20 hours of maintenance, the network was fully functional once again.
In 2021, THORChain also had to halt its network after suffering a breach, resulting in hackers stealing $7.6 million worth of cryptocurrency assets.
After about eight hours of the initial announcement, THORChain updated its Twitter account, stating that the vulnerability was credible but would require a malicious node in the last churn, which is when new nodes are added to the network. THORChain has resumed trading as no nodes can exploit the current vulnerability, according to the update.
In conclusion, THORChain’s temporary network pause due to a potential vulnerability serves as a reminder of the risks associated with decentralized protocols. While such protocols offer many benefits, they can also be susceptible to security vulnerabilities and breaches. THORChain’s quick response and resolution to the situation demonstrate the importance of having a dedicated security team and protocol in place to handle potential issues swiftly and efficiently.