Binance CEO CZ intervenes in multimillion-dollar crypto asset theft
The CEO of Binance, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, has released a report stating that the exchange intervened in the theft of several million dollars worth of crypto assets. Through a swift response action, the head of Binance Global claimed to have prevented the criminals from absconding with over 90% of the stolen loot.
In total, the CEO of Binance stated that the criminals were able to obtain digital assets worth around $12.5 million from their victims, all of which were converted to USDT and moved to a TRON wallet.
However, Binance was able to quickly intervene and alert its partners to the situation, who were then able to freeze the wallet, thwarting the perpetrator’s access to $11.8 million of the $12.5 million haul.
The incident described by CZ is not a new occurrence in the crypto space, as malicious actors sometimes resort to such audacious methods to steal crypto assets from investors.
Back in 2020, Le Duc Nguyen, a Vietnamese investor, was kidnapped by another Vietnamese individual named Ho Ngoc Tai, with the help of 15 gang members, and approximately $1.5 million worth of crypto assets were looted.
Tai claimed to have lost 1,000 bitcoins worth $100 billion VND by investing in other tokens based on financial advice, and in retaliation, forcibly demanded a “refund”. However, Tai and his accomplices were ultimately arrested by the police and brought to trial, with 14 of the 16 perpetrators being sentenced to between 9 and 19 years in prison in May 2023.
CZ faces questions on decentralization of cryptocurrencies
Following Zhao’s report on the successful recovery of crypto assets, some crypto enthusiasts voiced concerns regarding Binance’s ability to freeze user assets at will, a function that is synonymous with the fiat banking system.
The Binance CEO, however, explained that crypto users have the choice to avoid such occurrences, as assets can only be frozen on centralized exchanges (CEX). By using other storage forms, such as non-custodial wallets, users’ assets inevitably remain inaccessible to third parties.
Overall, the incident raises important questions about the security and integrity of crypto assets, as well as the role of centralized exchanges in safeguarding user funds.