Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Binance is offering the equivalent of $250,000 for information that leads to the arrest of those responsible for an attack on its platform last week. The attack, as reported, was only stopped by the exchange’s security systems.
Last week Binance managed to thwart a ‘large scale’ theft attempt, in which it managed to withhold hackers’ funds. Now, the company decided to ‘play offense’ and offer a reward for information that leads to the criminals’ legal arrest.
The security incident saw hackers create API keys for phished users, so they could then pump Viacoin with the victims’ funds and sell the little-known cryptocurrency at a premium in the VIA/BTC trading pair. The irregular trading activity triggered Binance’s security systems, which halted withdrawals.
Binance’s $250,000 bounty will be paid in its Binance Coin (BNB), a token used at the exchange. Those who wish to collect the bounty will have to send the information they have to the exchange, and to their local law enforcement agencies. If local laws allow, the bounty hunters will be able to remain anonymous.
Justifying its move, Binance wrote on Medium:
“To ensure a safe crypto community, we can’t simply play defense. We need to actively prevent any instances of hacking before they occur, as well as follow through after-the-fact.”
The company noted that if multiple data segments lead to the final arrest, the bounty may be split at Binance’s discretion. To widen its effort, it further revealed it allocated the equivalent of $10,000,000 in cryptocurrency reserves for future bounty awards. The Hong Kong-based exchange’s blog post further reveals it invited other cryptocurrency exchanges and businesses to follow suit.
Notably, bounties are nothing new in the bitcoin community. BitcoinBountyHunter.com currently has several bounties going. The biggest one, for 37 BTC (about $370,000), is being offered for information on the hacker that breached bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto’s email account, and claimed to send a SWAT team to bitcoin pioneer Hal Finney’s home.
Another 20 BTC (about $196,000) bounty is being offered for information on an extortionist who threatened the family of bitcoin angel investor Roger Ver. The website notably doesn’t encourage vigilantism, and reportedly only pays out bounties if the crime if reported to authorities.