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Arkham Finds Unclaimed Funds Worth Millions in Addresses Linked to Large Bridge Contracts

Ruholamin Haqshanas
Last updated: | 2 min read
Arkham Finds Unclaimed Funds Worth Millions

Blockchain intelligence firm Arkham has discovered several crypto addresses containing millions of dollars that are either “stuck” or “forgotten” in two major bridge contracts. 

In an X post on April 22, Arkham revealed that numerous accounts, including those connected to Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, and various DeFi whales, have significant funds trapped in bridge contracts.

Arkham substantiated its findings by providing screenshots of fund transfers to and from the Arbitrum and Optimism bridges. 

Wallet Has $1M Stuck in Optimism Bridge


One notable case highlighted by Arkham involves a wallet that received 50 Ether (ETH) from Buterin, with $1.05 million stuck in the Optimism bridge for the past seven months. 

However, if the wallet does belong to Buterin, this amount represents only a small fraction of his $789 million cryptocurrency portfolio, according to Arkham’s data.

Other instances include a wallet associated with Bofur Capital, potentially related to a Celsius creditor, which has $1.8 million in wrapped-Bitcoin (WBTC) trapped in the Arbitrum bridge for the past 27 months. 

Another wallet, owned by Thomasg.eth, the pseudonymous founder of decentralized air transportation solution Arrow, has $800,000 worth of Ether stuck in the Arbitrum bridge.

Additionally, Arkham reported that Coinbase attempted to bridge $75,000 in USD Coin (USDC) to Ethereum via the Optimism bridge six months ago, but the funds have not been claimed on Ethereum’s base layer.

While these funds remain unclaimed, it is possible that the wallet owners still retain full control and have chosen to temporarily park the funds there. 

Cross-chain bridges play a crucial role in modular blockchain networks like Ethereum, offloading transaction responsibilities to layer 2 solutions while prioritizing data availability and security on the base layer.

However, bridges have become attractive targets for hackers due to potentially vulnerable smart contracts or centralized validator sets. 

An example of this is the $650 million Ronin bridge hack orchestrated by North Korea’s state-backed Lazarus Group, which obtained access to five out of nine private keys held by transaction validators in March 2022.

Arkham Launches Decentralized Intel-to-Earn Marketplace


Last year, Arkham unveiled the Arkham Intel Exchange, which it called the world’s first on-chain “intelligence marketplace.” 

The platform is expected to create a new way for people to share and trade blockchain-related intelligence, creating a new market and opportunity for on-chain researchers.

At the time, the company said there is a significant demand for on-chain analysis from various individuals such as traders, investors, journalists, researchers, and protocols.

It also noted that a growing community of talented on-chain researchers needs a platform that allows them to monetize their skills.

The Intel Exchange tackles these challenges by connecting buyers and sellers of on-chain intelligence through a bounty mechanism. The company wrote in the announcement:

“Arkham’s Intel Exchange finally gives these talented researchers a way to monetize their skills, and meets the growing demand for on-chain research in a scalable way – by connecting both sides of the on-chain intelligence economy.”

The platform uses a bounty mechanism to do this. Users who need specific on-chain information can request by placing bounties. 

These bounties will then be fulfilled by “bounty hunters,” experienced blockchain researchers who provide the requested intelligence in exchange for the payment.