Crypto hacked again in US$100m theft of Binance Coin

AN ALREADY bad year for cryptocurrencies took another turn for the worse after roughly US$100 million of Binance Coin was stolen in what appears to be the latest hack to hit digital assets.

An exploit occurred on a bridge between blockchains and the issue is “contained now,” Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, billionaire co-founder of Binance, the world’s biggest crypto exchange, said on Twitter on Friday.

A spokesperson for Binance-backed blockchain BNB Chain estimated the incident involved US$100 million to US$110 million of digital tokens. At least US$7 million of stolen funds has already been frozen, the spokesperson added. The bridge, BSC Token Hub, has been suspended.

About US$2 billion has been lost in crypto hacks this year, many perpetrated by North Korea-linked groups. Cross-chain bridges used to transfer tokens across blockchains have been a popular target.

The Binance ecosystem is among the highest profile to be buffeted. Zhao said on Twitter that “in all likelihood, Binance will cover any fund that the hackers get away with.”

BNB Chain said it’s working with security services to freeze transfers of stolen funds. Binance Coin, also known as BNB, fell as much as 3.3% on Friday and was trading around US$285 as of 10:08am in Tokyo.

The crypto sector has been pummeled both by hacks and a deep rout that’s wiped some US$2 trillion off the value of digital assets.

The wider crypto markets took the latest developments in their stride. Bitcoin was little changed at around US$20,000. – BLOOMBERG