Binance has frozen more than 90% of the $12.5 million in cryptocurrency assets stolen from executives of an undisclosed client in Montenegro.
Binance CEO Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao disclosed that abductors forced the executives to empty their crypto wallets during their “business trip.”
Stolen Funds Were USDT
The stolen funds were in USDT and moved to a Tron wallet, which aided Binance’s effort to freeze $11.8 million of the assets.
However, this swift action sparked inquiries from the crypto community, questioning the similarity between crypto and traditional banks regarding asset seizure. CZ clarified that freezing assets is only possible when they are transferred to centralized exchanges, stating:
“If you use Monero (XMR), then there isn’t much anyone can do (or to help you with), as far as I know. Bitcoin can be traced, but not frozen, until you send it to a CEX.”
Meanwhile, Binance’s rapid response aligns with the broader industry’s commitment to curbing the illicit movement of crypto assets.
Crypto Fighting Illicit Fund Movement
Major cryptocurrency stakeholders have ramped up efforts to combat the flow of illegal funds in the industry recently following reports that Hamas had amassed a significant amount in cryptocurrency to finance attacks against Israel.
Key figures in the crypto community have staunchly defended the technology, asserting that blockchain innovations can deter the illicit movement of funds.
Coinbase, for instance, contended that blockchain technology holds potential in combating terrorism financing, emphasizing that traditional financial systems, rather than crypto, remain primary channels for such activities.
Moreover, Binance has highlighted its role in assisting authorities in curbing the unlawful use of cryptocurrency.
Binance Ceases Russian Ruble Deposits
Binance will discontinue Russian ruble (RUB) deposits starting November 15. This decision follows the sale of its Russian division to CommEX, a Russia-based crypto company.
The CommEX platform encourages users to transfer their Russian rubles without fees. Customers must complete withdrawing Russian rubles from Binance by January 2024.
The move to halt ruble deposits comes after Binance’s September announcement of its exit from Russia and the transfer of assets to the newly established CommEX. However, controversies have arisen surrounding the lack of details regarding the sale and CommEX.
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