The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, was attacked on May 7, and hackers stole 7,000 Bitcoins [BTC] worth $40 million. The Chief Executive Officer of Binance, Changpeng Zhao or CZ, proactively took care of the situation and shut deposits and withdrawals on the exchange, which were later resumed on May 16.
Even though the funds have not been recovered yet, another scam seems to be brewing in the shadow of these funds. A Reddit user suggested on the r/Cryptocurrency subreddit that the ‘team’ that hacked Binance was selling the stolen 7,000 BTCs, with a 70% discount.
The site claimed to provide 3 BTCs for 20 ETH and 0.2BTC for 2 ETH. This page led users to another page which informed them that the process would be completed after they add their Bitcoin address and ETH sessions.
Most users suggested that this is a scam, warning others to not buy into this scheme. One of the users commented,
As for Binance’s stolen funds, many prominent figures from the crypto-space had offered their services to the exchange to help it in its efforts to trace the funds and retrieve them. John McAfee said, “If I can help at all please let me know. Underneath my clown suit is still one of the most experienced cybersecurity experts on the planet. I’ve been doing it for 51 years. I am at your service.”
Tron’s Justin Sun also pledged to donate USDT worth the stolen BTCs. However, CZ refused his help. Whale Alert, a Twitter handle that keeps an eye on the movement of tokens and coins from various wallets and exchanges, also offered to lend a hand to help Binance out. The Twitter handle tweeted,“ We have added special warnings for the Binance Hack! If anyone tries to move the stolen #BTC, you’ll be the first to know!”
Binance Teases FATF, Allows Lending via Privacy Coins
Binance, one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges by trading volume, is adding three anonymity-focused cryptocurrencies to its loaning platform.
The Malta-based company said in a blog post that Binance Lending would allow users to lend in Monero, Zcash, and Dash. The annualized interest rate for the “fifth phase of Binance Lending products” with a 14-day maturity term, is 3.5 percent. Binance put out a total subscription cap of 300 XMR for Monero, 600 ZEC for Zcash, and 300 DASH for Dash. If borrowers subscribe all the available tokens, they will return lenders interest per lot of 0.001342 XMR, 0.001342 ZEC,
Ditching FATF Standards
The announcement came a day after OKEx, another cryptocurrency exchange, declared that it is going to delist Monero, Zcash, and Dash from its South Korea-based trading platform. The Malta-headquartered firm decided to move against the privacy coins after the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) directed cryptocurrency exchanges to report suspicious transactions – especially those that exceed $1,000.
The global financial watchdog brought crypto firms under a so-called travel rule. It made exchanges and wallet providers equivalent to banking institutions. That complies those modern firms to keep track of their users’ financial activities, share them with other FATF-complied firms, and report them to the agency as soon as they spot irregularities.
Recognizing the privacy coins anonymized people involved in a financial transaction, OKEx believed removing them was the only option left to ensure FATF-compliance. Nevertheless, its rival Binance decided to the opposite by adding them to its new lending platform. The Binance chief executive & co-founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao tweeted a cryptic message in support of financial privacy.
“Do you think privacy is a fundamental right?” the message read.
Meanwhile, FATF has not issued any statements regarding the use of anonymity-focused cryptocurrencies as of late. In its June 2019 notice, the watchdog discussed how countries and obliged entities must comply with its recommendations to prevent the misuse of cryptocurrencies in money laundering and terrorist financing.
Excerpts from their public notice:
“The obligations require countries to assess and mitigate their risks associated with virtual asset activities and service providers; license or register service providers and subject them to supervision or monitoring by competent national authorities—(notably, countries will not be permitted to rely on a self-regulatory body for supervision or monitoring)—and implement sanctions and other enforcement measures when service providers fail to comply with their AML/CFT obligations; and underscore the importance of international cooperation. Some countries may decide to prohibit virtual asset activities based on their own assessment of the risks and regulatory context or to support other policy goals.”
Based on national regulators’ feedback, FATF will prepare a review report and release it in June 2020. The agency has warned that it would blacklist countries with a higher number of money laundering and terrorist financing crimes, including those powered by cryptocurrencies.
Binance Unveils Phase Four of Its Lending Products
Binance, the leading digital currency exchange in the world in terms of trading volume, is all set to unveil the phase four of its Lending Products. The exchange made an official announcement detailing the launch date, time and format in an official blog post dated September 16, 2019.
As per the announcement, the Binance Lending Products’ 4th phase will be launched on September 18, 2019, at 6 am of the UTC zone. With this launch, Binance will make lending products with the fixed-term of 14 days’ available to users.
Users must note that the subscription period will begin from 6 am (UTC) on September 18, 2019, and run till September 19, 2019, 0:00 am. The duration of interest calculation is slated to start from September 18, 2019, 6 am and end on October 2, 2019, at 6 am (UTC).
The time of interest payouts is immediately after the loan term maturity, whereas the format of the subscription is on a first-come-first-serve basis, revealed the blog post.
According to the announcement, the digital assets to be included in the fourth phase are Binance Coin (BNB), Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Tether (USDT), and Ethereum Classic (ETC).
While the annual interest rate for BNB is 10 per cent with a lot size of 10 BNB and individual cap of 500 BNB, Bitcoin is available at 3 per cent annual rate of interest with the individual cap of 20 BTC and a lot size of 0.01 BTC. ETH and ETC are available for 6 per cent and 7 per cent annual rate of interest with the individual cap of 150 ETH and 1,000 ETC, respectively. Their lot sizes are 1 ETH and 1 ETC. USDT, on the other hand, has an annual interest rate of 10 per cent with 100 USDT lot size. The individual cap of USDT is 5,000,000.
Binance has also provided the total subscription cap, as well as interest at maturity per lot, for each of these digital assets in its official announcement to make it easier for users.
CZ Provokes Unintended Panic Following An ‘Attacker’ On New Futures Platform
“A market maker from a smaller futures exchange tried to attack @binance futures platform. NO ONE was liquidated, as we use the index price (not futures prices) for liquidations (our innovation). Only the attacker lost a bunch of money, and that was that.”
Just above is a tweet recently posted by the CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao in dispelling the concerns that a bad actor had just attacked the freshly-launched bitcoin futures platform.
This month alone has seen Binance form one of the two major BTC futures offerings to hit the market in September. The other being the Bakkt platform due on 23rd September, comes from the institutional trading platform, Bakkt.
The above quote was just the first in a series of tweets from the Binance CEO who initially warned that the platform’s futures were under attack from one of its own market makers.
“The attacker is a well-known account that trades with @binance,” CZ said. He continued, saying they “started their own futures exchange a few months ago. This was the 2nd attempt they tried. Shame!”
The attacker had reportedly crushed under the BTC/USD order book from $10,324 to $10,024, in what CZ said was the second such attempt at an attack.
The futures platform was launched in an invite-only setup mode following a user testing period earlier in the month. Two platforms were initially available with users voting for their preferred choice.
Aside from the criticism’s of both options’ technical characteristics, uptake was brisk with open interest reaching $150 million last week.
We still don’t know who specifically CZ is talking about but a few hours after the accusations came forward from the CEO, it was confirmed that everything was a big misunderstanding.
“Had a chat with the client. It was an accident, due to a bad parameter on their side. Not intentional. All good now.”