Bitcoin

Binance restarts following $40 million hack

The exchange announced it will be giving away $1.35 million of its Binance Coin exchange tokens; hacked Cryptopia exchange to liquidate

Hacked cryptocurrency exchange Binance has restarted trading and withdrawals after a security update this morning. The exchange lost 7,070 bitcoins on May 7, when a hacker used phishing to beat its two-factor identification procedures. At the time, the loss was valued at about $40 million. Given the price jump in the past week from about $6,000 to nearly $8,000, the theft was worth almost $57 million at press time, according to CoinMarketCap.

To mark the restart, Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao announced that the exchange will be giving away 50,000 of its Binance Coin exchange coins, valued at about $1.35 million. Anyone who trades at least one bitcoin (all buys and sells included) between 1 p.m. UTC on May 15 and midnight UTC on May 18 UTC will be eligible.

In addition, Binance will also be giving all VIP users a 7-day status upgrade to the next VIP level.

The company took the opportunity in the blog post announcing the reopening to remind users to take steps to improve their own security by using Binance new two-factor identification, using strong passwords that are changed frequently, and staying vigilant of phishing attempts.

On May 14 it posted a guide listing 14 tips to keeping Binance accounts more secure.

Cryptopia hack proves fatal

Wednesday also marked the death of another hacked cryptocurrency exchange, New Zealand-based Cryptopia, which lost $16 million on January 14.

In a post on its website on May 15, Cryptopia said, “Despite the efforts of management to reduce cost and return the business to profitability, it was decided the appointment of liquidators was, in the best interests of customers, staff and other stakeholders.”

David Ruscoe and Russell Moore from Grant Thornton New Zealand were yesterday appointed liquidators of Cryptopia Limited on May 14, the assurance and tax firm announced.

“We realise Cryptopia’s customers will want to have this matter resolved as soon as possible. We will conduct a thorough investigation, working with several different stakeholders including management and shareholders, to find the solution that is in the best interests of customers and stakeholders,” said Ruscoe. “Given the complexities involved we expect the investigation to take months rather than weeks.”

More details will be available next week from the New Zealand Companies Office, Grant Thornton added.

Leo Jakobson, Modern Consensus senior editor, is a New York-based journalist who has traveled the world writing about meeting and incentive travel, as well as the consumer and employee loyalty business. He also covered the East Coast side of the Internet boom and bust, small businesses, and New York City crime, nightlife, and politics. Disclosure: Jakobson owns no cryptocurrencies.