THORSwap temporarily shuts down web interface as FTX hacker tries to launder $131 million

The THORSwap decentralized exchange has put its web interface into "maintenance mode" in hopes of thwarting the thief who stole over $400 million from the FTX exchange as it was mid-collapse in November 2022. Those funds have remained largely for almost a year, until the thief began moving funds recently — interestingly, coinciding with the start of Sam Bankman-Fried's criminal trial.

The attacker tried to launder around $131 million of the stolen assets by routing them through services including Railgun and THORSwap. After "consultation with advisors, legal counsel, and law enforcement", THORSwap decided to pause its web interface in hopes of making money laundering more challenging for the attacker — although the thief could still interact with the THORSwap smart contracts directly, if they so chose.

Some criticized THORSwap for apparently caving on its censorship-resistant, decentralized ethos. Others, however, saw the move as understandable given the THORSwap developers reside in the United States, which has recently cracked down on mixing services that facilitate the laundering of illicit funds.