Binance hit by $40m bitcoin theft
One of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance, has been hacked and an estimated $40 million worth of bitcoin stolen.
It has temporarily suspended all withdrawals on its platform as it investigates the breach, and said it will replace the lost money from a secure asset fund.
The company has links with Bermuda. It has a unit incorporated here, called Binance (Bermuda) Ltd, and has plans to develop its global compliance base on the island, creating 40 jobs, and to develop a digital asset exchange in Bermuda “as soon as practicable”.
Binance signed a memorandum of understanding with the Bermuda Government in April 2018.
In a statement this week, Binance said hackers withdrew 7,000 bitcoin from its exchange in a single transaction, having patiently waited to execute “well-orchestrated actions” through a number of accounts.
In a social-media video on Periscope and Twitter, Binance chief executive officer Changpeng Zhao said: “We are covered on the funding side. It does hurt very much.
“Throughout this instance we will try to maintain high transparency.”
He asked people to forgive the company for the temporary block on withdrawals, which is expected to last for a week.
“We want to make sure we are secure and have solved everything before we turn things back on,” he said.
Trading will continue on the exchange, which is the world’s biggest in terms of volume traded, but withdrawals and deposits will be suspended until all security checks are complete.
The bitcoin theft is the sixth largest cryptocurrency exchange hack.
As part of its MOU with the Bermuda, the company said Binance’s foundation will spend up to $10 million on training for Bermudians in blockchain technology development, and the trading company’s labs will make up to $5 million available for investment in new Bermudian blockchain business.
• Link to Mr Zhao’s tweet and video about the hack: https://twitter.com/binance/status/1125959459782553600
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