On March 7th the hackers were ready to try to turn their hack into hard cash, placing "a large number of market buys on the VIA/BTC market, pushing the price high, while 31 pre-deposited accounts were there selling VIA at the top".
Binance, the popular Chinese cryptocurrency exchange with a focus on crypto-to-crypto trading, has put a $250,000 bounty on the heads of the hackers who tried to pull off a heist earlier this month by compromising user accounts. Adding to the positive sentiment around the cryptocurrency exchange, Binance released a statement via Medium announcing a massive campaign offering substantial bounties for information leading to arrests related to any attacks, hacks, or intrusions against Binance.
Many have written that these hacks could emanate from North Korea and if this is true, Zhao's day in court may be more than a few years away.
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Binance added, "The first person to supply substantial information and evidence that leads to the legal arrest of the hackers, in any jurisdiction, will receive the equivalent of $250,000 United States dollars in BNB".
The reward will be paid in BNB coins after arrests of the perpetrator at a determined exchange rate. "We need to actively prevent any instances of hacking before they occur, as well as follow through after-the-fact", the firm argued.
Furthermore, Binance has also reserved the equivalent of $10 million in Binance Coin or BNB for future bounty rewards against malicious hacking activity targeting the exchange. Anonymity is optional, providing local laws permit it, and the company reserves the right to split the bounty should there be multiple sources of information.
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However, as withdrawals were already automatically disabled by Binance's risk management system, none of the withdrawals successfully went out.
Traders reported that their alt coins were being sold off and converted into Bitcoin (BTC) and Viacoin (VIA). "Not only did the hacker not steal any coins out, their own coins have also been withheld". They were patient enough to not take any immediate action, and waited for the most opportune moment to act.
What is a certainty is that this will not be the last attempt to hack an exchange or deceive its customers.
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How well Binance was able to block hackers and prevent widespread issues for their users has been commended by the cryptocurrency community.