Binance crypto exchange hit by latest digital currency hack

Category: Technology/Innovations


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. hack / hæk / (n.) – the act of secretly and often illegally accessing another person’s computer or online accounts

    The company invested heavily in its cybersecurity after a major hack.

  2. contain / kənˈteɪn / (v.) – to control something and prevent it from spreading

    The wildfires have been contained. It’s not expected to spread to other parts of the forest.

  3. asset / ˈæs ɛt / (n.) – something that a person, company, etc. owns

    She hired an asset manager to help her manage all her properties.

  4. decentralization / diːˌsen trə ləˈzeɪ ʃən / (n.) – the process of moving the control or operations of a government or company from just one place to several places

    As the national government moves toward decentralization, it has started transferring some of its functions to local governments.

  5. targeted / ˈtɑr gət ɪd / (adj.) – directed toward a specific person or group

    It’s a targeted program that aims to help the poorest students in the university.


Read the text below.

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, may have lost more than $100 million following a hack of its Binance Smart Chain blockchain network.

A reddit post by Binance discussing the incident said that the company temporarily suspended transactions and the transfer of funds after detecting an exploit between two blockchains, a method of digital theft that has been used recently in at least one other major hack.

“The issue is contained now. Your funds are safe. We apologize for the inconvenience and will provide further updates accordingly,” CEO Changpeng Zhao said in a tweet.

Zhao said the issue took place on the BSC Token Hub, a cross-chain bridge that allows for the transfer of both digital assets and data between block chains.

Binance believes that $100 million to $110 million in funds were taken.

Binance said in a blog post that it was working on locking down any areas of vulnerability.

“A new on-chain governance mechanism will be introduced on the BNB Chain to fight and defend future possible attacks,” the post read.

Binance also said that there would be an increase in community validators as it moves towards further decentralization. Its BNB Smart Chain currently has 26 active validators.

Last year, Binance said that it was time for global regulators to establish rules for crypto markets. The company acknowledged at the time that crypto platforms have an obligation to protect users and to implement processes to prevent financial crimes, along with the responsibility to work with regulators and policymakers to set standards to keep users safe.

Binance is just the latest crypto company to experience a targeted hack. In August, Nomad was struck, with media reports saying it was for nearly $200 million. The Nomad hack was also an exploitation of cross-chain bridge intended to allow the transfer of assets and information. Harmony lost about $100 million in a hack in June.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Do you think people would still invest in cryptocurrency after the hacking incident? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Aside from Binance, a number of other cryptocurrency companies have experienced targeted hacking this year. Do you think these companies should be prevented from operating until they can assure that they are secure against hacking? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • In your opinion, is it more convenient to pay for goods and services using digital money, or do you still prefer cash? Why? Discuss.
  • Do you think cash can ever be fully replaced by digital money? Why or why not? Discuss.