Binance denies exchange hack rumors
Rumors began swirling across social media on Wednesday that the popular Binance exchange had been hacked.
A mass sell-off of all cryptocurrencies quickly followed as hacking fears spread.
Hours of speculation that the cryptocurrency exchange had been hacked sent prices into a free fall.
Binance has now reassured customers that their money is safe in their accounts.
Binance’s CEO Changpeng Zhao tweeted on Wednesday afternoon that “all funds are safe.”
Users took to social media early on Wednesday to report that their balances had been drained from their accounts.
This prompted rumors that the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange had been hacked.
Users reported that their balances were being sold at market rate and converted to Viacoin.
Despite appearances, however, the exchange said its platform was not breached.
All funds are safe. There were irregularities in trading activity, automatic alarms triggered. Some accounts may have been compromised by phishing from before. We are still investigating. All funds are safe.
— CZ (not giving crypto away) (@cz_binance) March 7, 2018
Binance said in a statement on Reddit that it was investigating the issues.
They denied all claims that the exchange was hacked, at the same time announcing that all withdrawals had been suspended, saying:
“As of this moment, the only confirmed victims have registered API keys (to use with trading bots or otherwise). There is no evidence of the Binance platform being compromised.
“Please remain patient and we will provide an update as quickly as possible.”
The general feeling among Reddit users suggested that investors using trading bots may have fallen victim to stolen API keys.
The knock-on effect
The majority of all cryptocurrencies plummeted in value as hacking fears spread.
According to data site CoinMarketCap, one of the few cryptos to see a rise during the day was Viacoin.
The little-know altcoin jumped more than 40% in value to $3.53 on the day.
It also saw a massive spike in trading volume around the time of the hack rumors, which has naturally aroused suspicion.
Bitcoin started to show signs of recovery today after creeping back over $10,000.
At the time of press, however, prices have started to plummet again, with Bitcoin dropped back to 9,247.06, according to the Coin Thud live price charts.
Meanwhile, Binance Cheif Changpeng Zhao announced on Twitter that all irregular trades had been identified and reversed.
Zhao also added that the hackers lost some funds as a result.
He reiterated that Binance itself wasn’t hacked, but some users may have fallen victims of phishing.
He also reminded users to learn how to secure their accounts against future phishing attacks.