Decentralized exchange (DEX) THORSwap has resumed operations after briefly going into maintenance mode due to detecting illicit funds on its platform.
THORSwap took to X (formerly Twitter) on Oct. 12 to announce that the platform is back online. The platform asked users to resume their regularly scheduled swapping of over 5,500 assets across 10 blockchains from their own self-custody wallets.
The protocol initially halted swaps on its platform on Oct. 6 as an immediate measure to counter the potential movement of illicit funds. THORSwap acknowledged that its DEX platform encountered illicit use and decided to pause to find a permanent solution to the misuse.
According to the latest announcement, THORSwap hasn’t applied any big changes on its platform other than the “shiny new terms of service.”
Updated on Oct. 11, THORSwap’s new terms of service read that users must comply with applicable laws like Anti-Money Laundering and agree to not engage or assist in any activity that violates sanctions programs or involves any unlawful financial activity. The updated terms also state that THORSwap reserves may restrict users from using the platform in case of violations, stating:
“THORSwap reserves the right to terminate your access to the THORSwap Services at any time, without notice, for any reason whatsoever, including without limitation a violation of these terms.”
“Is there any reason to use your services instead of a regular CEX? Did you just copy - paste their terms of service?” one X user asked.
According to ShapeShift founder Erik Voorhees, THORSwap is different from THORChain — the network it’s built on — in terms of centralization. THORSwap is a “centralized company that made a decision about their own interface,” while THORChain is decentralized.
You’re referring to Thorswap which is not Thorchain.— Erik Voorhees (@ErikVoorhees) October 12, 2023
The former is a centralized company that made a decision about their own interface.
The latter is a decentralized protocol that isn’t censoring anything and can be accessed in myriad ways.
In addition to updating the terms of service, THORSwap said it has partnered with an “industry leader” to put some additional protections to prevent the flow of illicit funds. The protocol may still need to “fine tune things over the coming days,” the announcement added.
"THORSwap contributors worked closely with the partner to improve and implement the address screening parameters, with the aim of preventing any potential criminal activity on our platform," a spokesperson for THORSwap told Cointelegreaph. The representative declined to provide more details about the screening provider, citing potential circumvention of the platform.
THORSwap’s return came on the same day blockchain analytics firm Elliptic reported that the hacker of the now-defunct crypto exchange FTX had started moving the stolen funds in late September 2023. The transactions marked the first time those funds have been moved since the attack.
According to Elliptic, the anonymous hacker used THORSwap to convert 72,500 Ether (ETH), or about $120,000 million, into Bitcoin (BTC) before sending crypto to sanctioned cryptocurrency mixers like Sinbad.
A spokesperson for THORSwap stressed in a statement to Cointelegraph that FTX exploiter’s funds can be traced easily once they have been swapped to BTC. But once cryptocurrencies have gone through a mixer, they are no longer traceable.