$1.2 Million Giveaway Announced By Binance CEO, As 'Thank You' for 'Standing By Us'

Changpeng Zhao (“CZ”), the CEO of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of trading volume, has announced via Twitter that $1.2 million in Binance Coin (BNB) will be given away “as a thank you for standing by us.”

On May 7th, 2019, Binance’s management revealed that its exchange had suffered a large-scale security breach, which resulted in the loss of over 7,000 Bitcoin (BTC) from the trading platform’s hot wallets.

Improved “Security Measures, Procedures, Practices”

On May 10th, the Binance co-founder published an update on the exchange’s official website in which he noted that important changes had been made to the trading platform, following the $41 million hack. According to Zhao, Binance’s management had taken measures to drastically improve “security measures, procedures, and practices.”

The hacker(s) had not only managed to steal a large amount of cryptocurrency, but they had also reportedly gained access to users’ 2-factor authentication codes and API tokens. In order to address these vulnerabilities, Binance’s team has been "making significant changes to the API, 2FA, and withdrawal validation areas."

On May 15th, 2019, Binance’s management announced that the exchange’s system upgrades had been completed and that “all trading activity” would resume “at 1:00 PM (UTC).” As mentioned by Binance’s team, users would be allowed to cancel open orders “until the commencement of trading.”

Helping Users Better Understand Security Measures

Traders may also perform other account related functions, including making deposits. However, Binance’s blog post clarified that the exchange’s “withdrawal function will [only] be available shortly after trading resumes.”

In order to help users better understand how to secure their cryptoassets, Binance’s team has published an informative blog post, titled: “14 Tips to Enhance Security for Your Binance Account.”

To prevent hackers from stealing funds, Binance’s blog mentioned that users should keep changing their passwords (from time to time), reset their 2FA, and also “update their anti-phishing code.”

Giveaway Is A Way To Acknowledge “Unwavering Support” From Community

The exchange operator also confirmed it will be “holding a 50,000 BNB giveaway” and that it will be “providing VIP level ups.” The generous giveaway is a way for Binance’s management “to express [its] gratitude” for the “unwavering support” it has received from its users.

To participate in the giveaway, users are required to “trade over 1 BTC to share a 50,000 BNB prize pool.” The promotion period began on May 15th, 2019 “at 1:00 PM UTC” and ends on May 18th, 2019 “0:00 AM UTC.”

British Court Orders Bitfinex to Freeze $860,000 Tied to Ransomware Attack

  • A British court has ordered Bitfinex to freeze $860K in bitcoin tied to a ransomware payout. 
  • The court also asked the exchange to provide KYC information on the client who owns the account. 

A British court has ordered crypto exchange Bitfinex to freeze $860,000 in bitcoin tied to a ransomware payout. 

According to a report by New Money Review and a filing published last week by the England and Wales High Court, a British court has ordered Bitfinex to freeze the address of an account tied to a ransomware payout and share the know-your-customer information with authorities. 

The report claims that an unnamed firm paid $950,000 in bitcoin as ransom to the perpetrator account through an insurance company intermediate in response to the victim’s computers being hijacked by malware. While some of the ransom was converted to fiat, 96 BTC was transferred to an address on Bitfinex. 

Blockchain security firm Chainalysis released a statement confirming that they had participated in tracking the funds on behalf of the victim’s insurer. Chainalysis Director of Communications Maddie Kennedy said, 

A leading cyber insurer used Chainalysis software to investigate ransomware payments made on behalf of their clients and trace the flow of funds from the point of extortion to known services such as exchanges.

While Bitfinex issued a statement claiming to have “robust systems” in place to assist law enforcement, the exchange declined to confirm whether it would share client information with authorities. 

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