Binance thwarts $12.5 million crypto rip-off by freezing stolen funds By

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Printed Nov 13, 2023 02:44AM ET

NEW YORK – In a dramatic flip of occasions, Binance has efficiently frozen roughly $11.8 million price of cryptocurrency belongings stolen from executives who had been lured right into a kidnapping scheme in Montenegro. The executives, representing an unnamed consumer firm, had been deceived into attending a fraudulent enterprise journey and subsequently kidnapped. Throughout this ordeal, they had been pressured to switch their holdings, primarily within the stablecoin USDT, to a Tron pockets operated by the perpetrators.

Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, revealed the delicate rip-off and the next freezing of the stolen funds on social media platform X on Sunday. Zhao defined that whereas Bitcoin transactions are traceable, the flexibility to freeze these belongings is contingent on them being transferred by centralized exchanges like Binance. This motion by Binance and its companions prevented the criminals from accessing over 90% of the illicitly obtained funds.

The incident has reignited discussions in regards to the function of centralized management inside the cryptocurrency ecosystem, which is usually celebrated for its decentralized nature. This profitable intervention by Binance underscores each the potential vulnerabilities within the crypto area and the measures that may be taken to counteract prison actions.

In associated information reflecting heightened vigilance inside the crypto business, rumors have surfaced about Hamas accumulating Bitcoin for unauthorized actions. This has prompted vital gamers out there, together with Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN), to reinforce measures in opposition to unlawful fund transfers. Coinbase asserts that blockchain expertise could possibly be instrumental in curbing terrorism financing.

Moreover, as a part of its technique to adjust to regulatory calls for and reshape its world presence, Binance has introduced it’ll stop accepting deposits in Russian rubles (RUB) starting November 15. This transfer follows Binance’s sale of its Russian subsidiary to CommEX, a Russian-based cryptocurrency agency. Binance customers have till January 20, 2024, to withdraw any remaining RUB balances. This choice aligns with Binance’s earlier announcement in September to withdraw from the Russian market amidst evolving geopolitical and financial landscapes.

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