People have grown very concerned about online privacy, especially when the alleged target of snooping and leaking are their cryptocurrency holdings. Recently, Binance, recognized as one of the top crypto exchanges in the planet, has been, allegedly, undergoing a FUD campaign that may be damaging its reputation among the community.
The latest reports seem to indicate that Binance is suffering interference through what it calls a “fear, uncertainty, and doubt” campaign against it. The offenders are looking to diminish people’s confidence levels in the exchange, making them believe that its KYC (know your customer) information isn’t private.
A Very Lasting Rumor
A rumor can have the power to tear down an empire, and in the case of Binance, it has been tormenting them since, at least, the start of 2019. The word about a possible leak in Binance’s KYC began to swirl around in January, and they haven’t gone away yet in August. The situation may have an impact on people looking to buy Bitcoin in the exchange.
Several sites that specialize in crypto-related news reported the issue in late January. However, at the time, investigations and research about the matter showed inconclusive results.
The CEO of Binance, the widely known “CZ” Changpeng Zhao, went to his official Twitter account to rebuke the dreaded KYC leak FUD. In @cz_binance, he wrote prompting people not to fall with the mentioned campaign and informed that the exchange is, in fact, investigating on the matter and that there will be updates soon.
in this group of telegrams all the photos for February 23, 24, 2018 are a strange combination of circumstances 🤔 @cz_binance maybe on this day you fired an employee with access to KYC? human factor, banal resentment
— Andrew (@electroXts) August 7, 2019
Several news outlets reported at the start of the year that Binance explained that the evidence of leaked KYC data and pictures circulating around the web weren’t from accounts in the exchange. It later mentioned that security was at the top of its priorities’ list and that they worked very hard to put together several measures and practices to ensure that their users’ data was safe.
However, the exchange has suffered others, much more serious security breaches, like the hacking attack in which roughly 7,000 BTC were substracted overnight. After that, the platform had to shut down operations for seven days, and CZ mentioned the concept of a chain reorganization in his Twitter account.
Bitcoin trading, more than ever before, requires a safe environment provided by the exchange, in which privacy and anonymity come above anything else.
A Considerable Ransom
Binance has indicated that it is not really sure whether the 10,000 KYC files are legitimate or just a rumor, by letting the community know that a person or entity is asking for a considerable ransom worth of 300 BTC.
Binance wrote that they would like to inform the crypto community that a person, not yet identified, has issued threats to the exchange and has asked for the aforementioned amount of funds (approximately $3.5 million) in exchange for 10,000 pictures that are similar to Binance’s KYC information.
Binance also stated that, given its lack of cooperative spirit with the alleged attacker, the latter started spreading the information to media sites and the public in general. Again, people looking to acquire or buy crypto in Binance may be scared off by the whole situation.
The exchange has even gone further, offering a maximum 25 BTC reward for any person that helps the platform spot the criminal. The actual amount will vary according to the relevance of the provided data.