London High Court orders Binance to help trace $2.6m stolen in hack

Fetch.ai - a blockchain-based AI company - had its request for Binance to help identify and freeze the accounts of hackers granted

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange has been ordered by London’s High Court to help identify and freeze the accounts of hackers responsible for a $2.6 million heist.

A judge granted the request of AI company Fetch.ai for Binance to take necessary action to help identify the perpetrators and locate and seize the stolen assets.

It marks Binance’s first public involvement with a case of this nature and could become a measure of the efforts of the court system’s attempts to tackle fraud and theft on cryptocurrency exchanges.

Previously, Binance noted it was committed to complying with appropriate local rules wherever it operates and would expand its international compliance teams to work closely with local regulators.

Binance said it was keen to cooperate with the case.

“We can confirm that we are helping Fetch.ai in the recovery of assets,” a spokesperson said.

“Binance routinely freezes accounts that are identified as having suspicious activity occurring in line with our security policies and commitment to ensuring that users are protected while using our platform.”

Fetch.ai is both incorporated in England and Singapore and builds and develops blockchain-based AI projects.

Perpetrators

Fetch claims the perpetrators hacked their way into its cryptocurrency accounts on Binance on June 6. Account restrictions meant the hackers were unable to remove the funds. Instead, the assets were allegedly sold to a linked third party at a fraction of their value within an hour of the hack taking place.

Syedur Rahman, a partner at the law firm Rahman Ravelli – representing Fetch.ai – said Binance had notified Fetch.AI of unusual activity in its account and had already frozen funds. Binance indicated it would comply with the orders.

For the claim to be successful, Fetch.ai must prove it was a victim of fraud on Binance before being able to seek a recovery order.

Binance has been under the spotlight of global regulators in recent months, complying with a number of orders made for it to restrict certain services in selected territories. Recently, Binance halted derivatives trading in both Hong Kong and Europe alongside reducing leveraged trading limits to 20x and removing stock tokens from the platform.

The recent resignation of Brian Brooks from his position as CEO of Binance US also prompted a response from the wider crypto community, with concerns being flagged that the regulation being imposed on Binance was affecting certain “strategic decisions” from being made and halting Binance’s progress towards becoming a better-regulated exchange.

 

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) aimed to dispel any circulating rumours by confirming that Binance was seeking a more reactive approach to compliance and advised followers to “stay tuned”, suggesting that Binance had possibly made some headway in their ongoing battle with global regulators.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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