Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao – perhaps better known as CZ – has responded to calls from Twitter users to block funds identified as coming from the recent Cryptopia hack.
As we explored earlier today, eager Blockchain watchers have been tracking funds that appear to have been taken from the New Zealand-based crypto-asset exchange, Cryptopia. The tokens, comprised of around $3 million-worth of ethereum and $11 million in other ERC-20 assets, were removed from wallets linked to the exchange in the early hours of January 13th (around 01:30 UTC).
Some 16-or-so hours before the exchange admitted a problem, initially putting the site ‘Under Maintenance’ and then admitting to significant issues and informing New Zealand Police. Now, the CEO of cryptocurrency’s biggest exchange has promised to block any wallets linked to funds from the hack that appear on his platform.
While Cryptopia itself has said little in the wake of the as-yet-unclear chain of events, social media has been abuzz with chatter, rumour and conjecture regarding the whole state of affairs. Many have pointed to the anomolies in the timeline, and the apparently wide range of assets taken, as red-flags indicating that the whole thing could be related to an exit scam by Cryptopia staff, or at the very least an inside job.
Others began to track movement of the funds taken, tracking transactions initially highlighted by the Whale Alerts Twitter account and a Redditor by the name of toldjahP. This morning @ShaftedTangu made multiple attempts to alert the CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao that some of the hacked funds had made their way to Binance.
Hey @cz_binance Binance has stolen tokens from Topia hitting it sir. Can you lock it down? https://t.co/0XllsBejUV
— 🐒🐵I Dream Of Alts🐵🐒 (@ShaftedTangu) January 16, 2019
Apparently, CZ was paying attention, because he personally responded to the message assuring the user that Binance’s back-room staff had mananged to freeze some of the funds, while bemoaning the work that it was being forced to do.
Just checked, we were able to freeze some of the funds. I don't understand why the hackers keep sending to Binance. Social media will be pretty fast to report it, and we will freeze it. It's a high risk maneuver for them. https://t.co/i0PeahLzic
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) January 16, 2019
CZ’s reaction attracted the ire of at least one other observer. Twitter user @Crypto_Bitlord sought to question Binance’s inability to track events that social media’s seemingly amateur slueths had eventually been forced to alert it of, and wondered why there was no system in place to prevent such events.
The CEO’s reponse, essentially to say that Binance cannot be reponsible for watching the whole Ethereum blockchain, did not impress his critic much.
Yes ofc but that is the most basic blockchain analysis.
“It’s quite easy to generate a brand new address…”
-So your saying criminals can steal funds and just create a brand new address to send to before binance?
I’m honesty surprised Binance missed the transaction 🧐
— Sir Bitlord ❇️ (@Crypto_Bitlord) January 16, 2019
However for now, it would appear that whoever hacked Cryptopia – if, indeed, there was a hack – has been thwarted in at least part of what CZ characterised as a “high-risk manuever” to liquidate some of the tokens stolen. Whether or not the trail they leave behind them will be enough to find a culprit, remains to be seen.