Last week, attackers pumped the price of viacoin, using compromised Binance accounts to do their dirty work. The plan was to sell at the top and quickly cash out in bitcoin before the scam could be stopped. According to Binance, the hackers didn’t get away with it, and in fact lost money on the deal after withdrawals were stopped and the fraudulent trades reversed. Not content with having mitigated the attack, the exchange has now announced its intentions to come after the attackers – and it’s seeking the help of the public.
Today, Binance announced that it is “offering a $250,000 USD equivalent bounty to anyone who supplies information that leads to the legal arrest of the hackers involved in the attempted hacking incident on Binance on March 7th, 2018.” The reward would be paid out in the exchange’s native BNB token.
Even if the identities of the attackers can be uncovered, the chances of their arrest seem remote. For authorities to act against cryptocurrency exchange hacks, they will demand compelling evidence of a crime, and while what occurred was undoubtedly illegal, the fact that no victims were left out of pocket makes a prosecution unlikely. The $250,000 bounty, therefore, may be interpreted as a warning more than anything. By robustly informing hackers that such behavior will not be tolerated, Binance hopes bad actors will pick a softer target next time. Because the exchange doesn’t require full KYC, the only information it may have on last week’s attackers is an email address and an IP.
Binance Throws $10 Million in the Pot
Binance’ Medium missive finishes: “Furthermore, Binance has currently allocated the equivalent of $10,000,000 USD in crypto reserves for future bounty awards against any illegal hacking attempts on Binance. We have also invited other exchanges and crypto businesses to join our initiative. We welcome their participation at any time.”
The platform is clearly genuine in its desire to clamp down on unlawful activity, and will have no qualms about paying out for information leading to the arrest of hackers. However, the generous sums being waved about could also be interpreted as the exchange flaunting its wealth. Coinbase recently came in for flak after awarding a series of developer grants worth $2,500 apiece – or about 45 seconds of revenue for the U.S. exchange. In pledging $10 million, Binance has demonstrated its might and its determination to thwart anything or anyone that stands in its way.