Criminals Demand $10 Million in Monero (XMR) in Norwegian Kidnapping Case

Avi Rosten

The wife of a wealthy Norwegian businessman has been kidnapped, and those responsible are reportedly asking for the 9million EUR (10 million USD) ransom to be paid in privacy coin Monero (XMR).

According to local newspaper VG, 68-year old Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik Hagen, the wife of Norwegian businessman Tom Hagen, has been missing for ten weeks, since October 31st of last year.

Police have so far kept the investigation into her disappearance under wraps according to VG, because threats were made regarding the involvement of the police and media. The report also explains that Norwegian police have widened the investigation to include Interpol and Europol.

Tom Hagen has an estimated net worth of 1.7 billion NOK (c. 200m USD), and is ranked 172 on Norway’s rich list.

Bitcoin vs. Monero

The kidnappers' choice of Monero, a privacy coin which makes it very hard to trace transactions, may well signal a shift towards more anonymous forms of cryptocurrency crime, although bitcoin (a pseudonymous cryptocurrency) still seems to figure prominently in ransom demands.

This week saw kidnappers in South Africa demand 5 BTC (c. $20,000) for the release of a missing nine-year-old girl. Earlier in the month, a group of hackers calling themselves TheDarkOverlord demanded a ransom in bitcoin after claiming to have hacked a law firm handling insurance claims related to the September 11th attacks.

Interestingly, some have pointed out that the choice of Monero might in this case actually help law enforcement due to the fact that the $10m demanded represents around 1% of XMR’s market cap:

Token Listing Guidelines for Binance DEX

On Thursday (April 25), Binance unveiled guidelines for listing tokens on Binance DEX, its new decentralized exchange, and said that these guidelines would enable Binance DEX "to facilitate a larger number of crowd-vetted projects, hopefully listing 10x more tokens than currently listed on Binance.com."

Despite what some people think, issuing a token on Binance Chain does not mean that the new token will automatically get listed on Binance DEX. Binance, which has been criticized like most other centralized exchanges for having an opaque listing process, is hoping that the new "transparent and community-driven" listing process for Binance DEX will finally satisfy most if not all of its detractors.

The Binance DEX listing process consists of the following steps:

  • 1. Proposal
    • "It is recommended that Token Issuers first create a thread under the “Token Issuance & Listings” category in the Binance Chain Community Forum."
    • "It is recommended that this public thread contain full answers to the Binance DEX Token Listing Submission Criteria..."
    • "Token Issuers must initiate an on-chain Proposal Request (fee of 10 BNB) to list a trading pair for a token."
    • "Token Issuers must request BNB as the quote asset for their first trading pair. For example, ABC/BNB."
    • "Once the proposal request is submitted, Token Issuers must post the Proposal ID to their proposal thread in the forum as a ‘reply’."
  • 2. Deposit
    • "Once the proposal request is sent, Token Issuers will need to deposit at least 1,000 BNB within 2 days."
    • "Proposals that do not receive sufficient deposits within this timeframe will not be able to move on to the voting stage and their deposit will not be refunded."
    • "If the Vote passes in Step 3 (majority 'Yes'), the 1,000 BNB deposit will be refunded."
  • 3. Vote
    • "At least half of the voting power is required to vote 'Yes' for the proposal to be accepted."
    • "Binance Chain Validators can vote for either 'Yes', 'No', 'NoWithVeto', or 'Abstain' within the time period specified in the proposal request."
    • "The 1,000 BNB deposit will be refunded if the majority of Validators vote for 'Abstain'."
    • "Proposals are denied if one third of the Validators vote 'NoWithVeto' or if half of the Validators vote 'No'."
    • "Denied proposals will lose all the funds deposited, however this result will only occur in rare circumstances when there is relatively clear fraud, scam or spam."
  • 4. List
    • "If the vote is passed, the Token Issuer will need to initiate a 'List' transaction on-chain (2,000 BNB fee) within the timeframe specified in the proposal, while the previous 1,000 BNB deposit will be refunded back to the proposing user."
    • "The trading pairs will be live immediately after this request is completed."

Binance DEX Listing Process Workflow Screenshot.png

Binance says that the "listing application, project information, vote results and all community interaction will be public on the Binance Chain Community Forum," that the decisions of the Binance Chain Validators (who are the only ones with the power to vote) are "purely based on public information in the forum," and that there is no other way "for projects to contact Binance Chain Validators."

One interesting thing to point out is that although the Binance DEX listing fee has been set to 2,000 BNB (currently, according to CryptoCompare, worth around $45,580), originally Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (aka "CZ") was thinking of making the listing fee on Binance DEX be around $100,000, as he mentioned in his first Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on February 7:

"There will be a listing fee on the DEX. I actually deliberately want to set that a little bit high, just so we reduce the number of spam or scam projects. And there’s also a voting process by the validators to be listed on the DEX. So there’s a fee, I think the fee will be probably close to $100K US, so we’ll see. But the fee is adjustable over time, it’s quite easy to change."

Earlier today, Mithril, the first crypto project to migrate its token (MITH) to Binance Chain, got listed on Binance DEX:

 

All Images Courtesy of Binance