CEO of Binance, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, shared a report in which the exchange intervened in the theft of millions of dollars in crypto assets. Through a rapid response operation, Binance’s global head said it was able to prevent bad actors from taking more than 90% of the stolen loot.
Binance confiscates $11.8 million in assets belonging to kidnapped customers
In a Friday article on crypto wallets.
One client’s executives were lured on a “business trip” to Montenegro, where they were kidnapped and forced to empty their wallets. Total loss ~$12.5 million.
We investigated on-chain activity and contacted our partners earlier today to freeze the wallet, like all…
– CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) November 10, 2023
In total, the Binance CEO said the bad actors were able to obtain approximately $12.5 million in digital assets from their victims, all of which were converted to USDT and moved to a TRON wallet.
However, Binance was able to quickly intervene in the matter, alerting its partners of the situation, who were then able to freeze the wallet. In doing so, Binance prevented the kidnapper from accessing $11.8 million of a $12.5 million haul.
The incident narrated by CZ is not a new event in the crypto space, as sometimes bad actors resort to such brazen methods to steal crypto assets from investors.
In 2020, Le Duc Nguyen, a Vietnamese investor, was kidnapped and robbed of around VND35 billion ($1.5 million) worth of crypto assets by another Vietnamese named Ho Ngoc Tai with the help of 15 members gangs.
Tai claimed to have lost 1,000 Bitcoins valued at VND100 billion while investing in other tokens based on financial advice. The crypto investor felt cheated and obtained a “refund” through forceful means.
However, Tai and his employees were eventually apprehended by the police and faced trial in May 2023, during which 14 of the 16 culprits were sentenced to between 9 and 19 imprisonments.
CZ Faces Questions About Crypto Decentralization
Following Zhao’s account of the successful recovery of crypto assets, some crypto enthusiasts have expressed concerns about Binance’s ability to freeze user assets at will, a feature synonymous with the fiat banking system.
I really condemn this loss and I’m happy because most of the money is safe but I have a question @cz_binance
In fiat banks everyone says that these guys can freeze money at any time and for no reason.
How is crypto better if someone can always freeze our personal wallet??
– Crypto Eagles (@CryptoProject6) November 10, 2023
However, the Binance boss said that crypto users have the choice to avoid such events, as assets can only be frozen on centralized exchanges (CEX). By using other forms of storage, such as non-custodial wallets, user assets will necessarily remain inaccessible to any third party.
Total crypto market valued at $1.382 trillion on the daily chart | Source: TOTAL chart on Tradingview.com
Featured image from Shuttershock, chart from Tradingview