Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Binance, one of the world’s largest exchanges by trading volumes, has denied rumors of a hack after a supposed routine maintenance run dragged on way past its original timeframe, triggering panic among traders and the wider community.
In a posting on Twitter, Binance abruptly revealed it was undergoing ‘system maintenance’ that could cause users to experience ‘a temporary decrease’ in the performance of the trading platform. Within an hour, the exchange posted another update stating maintenance involved a full resync to the company’s replica database, a move that would take ‘several hours’ for the platform to get back online. Soon after, Binance chief executive CHangpeng Zhao provided an update stating it would likely take 10 hours for Binance to get back online. At this point, the exchange had been offline for nearly 13 hours.
Eventually, that turned to 24 hours.
Binance moved to assure customers that it hadn’t been hacked, despite rumors to the contrary. Cybersecurity pioneer turned cryptocurrency evangelist John McAfee stated:
Binance has suspended trading. The company claims that they are doing a system upgrade and will resume at 2:00 AM GMT Friday. While I have no hard evidence, rumours are flying among top crypto influencers that they may have been hacked. Will keep you informed.
In a direct response to the claim, Binance refuted the rumor by stating it hadn’t been hacked. “Please do not spread false information’ it added.
A look into the company’s Ethereum wallet does not show any hint of a breach, holding a USD equivalent of $153 in Ethereum’s token currency Ether. A look at Binance’s bitcoin wallet shows over 84,000 transactions totaling 1.3 million bitcoin, approximately $11 billion in current prices, with a balance of 32,125 bitcoins, approximately $268 million.
Binance’s latest update confirms a successful data recovery. “We do not have an exact ETA to provide for this process but we expect at least another 1-2 hours,” the exchange said.
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