Cybercriminals have leveraged the cross-chain bridge RenBridge for transferring at least $540 million in illicit cryptocurrency funds since 2020, reports CNBC
Ransomware payments accounted for $153 million of the funds laundered through RenBridge, which has been "an important facilitator" for Russian ransomware operations, according to a report from blockchain analytics firm Elliptic.
Elliptic also found that Renbridge has been used by the Conti ransomware gang
to transfer more than $53 million in payments.
Despite cross-chain bridges' importance in advancing decentralized finance, their lack of regulation has made them vulnerable to cyberattacks and money laundering schemes, said Elliptic Vice President of Policy and Regulatory Affairs David Carlisle.
However, Carlisle noted that the U.S. has shown a willingness to crack down on cryptocurrency crimes as indicated by sanctions imposed upon cryptocurrency mixing service Tornado Cash earlier this week.
"One major question is whether bridges will become subject to regulation, since they act a lot like crypto exchanges, which are already regulated," Carlisle added.