World Economy

Crypto Exchange Offers Bounty for Hacker Tip-Offs

Crypto Exchange Offers Bounty for Hacker Tip-OffsCrypto Exchange Offers Bounty for Hacker Tip-Offs

One of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges is going on the offensive to deter hacking attempts that have plagued the industry.

Binance, founded by Zhao Changpeng, is offering the equivalent of $250,000 (paid in cryptocurrency) for information that leads to the arrest of hackers who targeted the venue last week, it said in a statement on Sunday. The exchange has set aside $10 million for future bounties and is encouraging other platforms to do the same, it said, Bloomberg reported.

Binance disclosed last week that it had been the target of a “large-scale phishing and stealing attempt.” While the exchange said “all funds are safe”, Binance noted that it was unable to reverse some trades from accounts targeted by the hackers.

As prices of digital assets have soared, the platforms that trade them have become increasingly juicy targets for cyber thieves. Hackers stole tokens worth about $700 million from venues in Japan and Italy since the start of this year. The robberies have added pressure on both exchanges and regulators to do more to protect investors.

Meanwhile, the price for bitcoin was moderately higher early Monday, as the world’s No. 1 cryptocurrency stabilized somewhat after a punishing past week, MarketWatch reported.

A single bitcoin was recently changing hands at $9,541.65, up from $8,981.03 late Friday in New York.

Bitcoin dropped about 20% last week, with analysts blaming the selloff in part on regulatory worries, such as a Wednesday warning on crypto-trading platforms from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The People’s Bank of China also sounded downbeat on digital currencies last week. Zhou Xiaochuan—the central bank’s governor—said Friday that Beijing does not recognize bitcoin and other virtual currencies as legitimate forms of payment, according to a Reuters report.

“Cryptocurrencies are still in the early stages of development,” said Matthew Newton, an analyst at eToro, which offers a crypto-trading platform, in a recent note. “As the market grows, regulatory scrutiny is to be expected. Appropriate regulation should ultimately help promote best practice and afford protection to the consumer.”

On Monday, futures markets tracked spot prices higher. The Cboe Global Markets March contract was recently up 5% to $9,600, while the CME Group Inc. March contract gained 6% to $9,585.

Thomson Reuters Corp says it is to track and analyze chatter about bitcoin on hundreds of news and social media websites to help investors looking for an edge in trading the world’s biggest cryptocurrency, the company said on Monday.

A new version of its MarketPsych Indices, which it runs in conjunction with MarketPsych Data LLC, a behavioral economics research firm, will scan over 400 websites, many specific to cryptocurrencies, to capture market-moving sentiment and themes, Reuters said in a statement.

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