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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Crypto exchange goes on the offensive with $250,000 reward for hacker tip-offs

Hacking attempts are o the rise as prices of digital assets climb

Zhao Changpeng, chief executive officer of Binance, one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges is going on the offensive to deter hacking attempts that have plagued the industry. Akio Kon / Bloomberg
Zhao Changpeng, chief executive officer of Binance, one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges is going on the offensive to deter hacking attempts that have plagued the industry. Akio Kon / Bloomberg

One of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges is going on the offensive to deter hacking attempts that have plagued the industry.

Binance, founded by Zhao Changpeng, is offering the equivalent of $250,000 (paid in cryptocurrency) for information that leads to the arrest of hackers who targeted the venue last week, it said in a statement on Sunday. The exchange has set aside $10 million for future bounties and is encouraging other platforms to do the same, it said.

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Binance disclosed last week that it had been the target of a “large-scale phishing and stealing attempt.” While the exchange said “all funds are safe,” Binance noted that it was unable to reverse some trades from accounts targeted by the hackers.

As prices of digital assets have soared, the platforms that trade them have become increasingly attractive targets for cyber thieves. Hackers stole tokens worth about $700m from venues in Japan and Italy since the start of this year. The robberies have added pressure on both exchanges and regulators to do more to protect investors.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.