Binance Halts $4.2M Worth Of XRP From $112M Ripple Hack

Here are some of the major developments from the world of crypto over the past few days.
some of the major developments from the world of crypto
some of the major developments from the world of crypto

In a notable turn of events, Binance took immediate action by freezing $4.2 million worth of XRP connected to the unprecedented $112 million hack of Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen's personal wallet on January 31, marking it as the largest cryptocurrency hack of 2024.

CEO Richard Teng shared in a post that Binance had successfully frozen the exploiter's address, extending gratitude to on-chain investigator ZachXBT and the Ripple team for their collaborative efforts. This rapid response underscores the industry's ongoing battle against cyber threats.

Early confusion arose amid speculations that Ripple, the fintech firm behind XRP, had been hacked. However, Chris Larsen clarified that only his personal accounts had been compromised.

Surprisingly, the hacker opted not to employ mixer services or decentralized exchanges to conceal their identity, deviating from recent trends where malicious actors avoid centralized platforms to evade the risk of account freezing.

The aftermath involves ongoing investigations and collaborations, with Thomas Silkjær from the XRP Ledger Foundation and ZachXBT playing pivotal roles in the resolution.

While Binance successfully froze a portion of the stolen funds, the response from other exchanges, such as OKX and Kraken, remains undisclosed as they navigate the complex aftermath of the significant security breach.

According to Cointelegraph responses from Binance and Ripple regarding the matter were met with silence at the time of press.

Three Arrows Capital co-founders’ OPNX exchange is shutting down

OPNX, the crypto bankruptcy claims and trading platform established by the co-founders of the collapsed hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC), is set to cease operations and shut down by February 14, marking the end of its tumultuous journey. Su Zhu and Kyle Davies, the co-founders, had launched OPNX following the demise of their $10 billion Singapore-based crypto hedge fund in June 2022. In an email addressed to users, OPNX strongly advised settling all positions by February 7 and withdrawing funds by February 14, after which all withdrawal functionalities would be disabled. The closure of OPNX adds another layer to the challenges faced by Zhu and Davies, who had disappeared shortly after their hedge fund's collapse, prompting Teneo, responsible for liquidating 3AC's assets, to subpoena them due to their concealed physical whereabouts.

The hybrid nature of OPNX, serving as both a bankruptcy claims platform and a crypto exchange, allowed users to trade creditor claims of bankrupt crypto companies. Following the announcement of OPNX's shutdown, the price of its native OX token experienced a significant drop, plummeting 38% from $0.01 to $0.006 within an hour, as per CoinGecko data. Zhu and Davies, already under scrutiny, are currently the target of Teneo's efforts to recover $1.3 billion directly from them, alleging that the co-founders engaged in substantial leverage with investor funds after the hedge fund's insolvency. In a further blow, Singapore's central bank issued nine-year prohibition orders against Davies and Zhu in September 2023, citing alleged violations of the country's securities laws during their tenure at 3AC.

Cryptocurrency thrives in China against odds says Kyros Ventures report

A report from Kyros Ventures reveals that despite regulatory challenges, cryptocurrency is thriving in China, with 33.3% of Chinese investors holding a substantial amount of stablecoins.

This figure positions China as the second-highest in terms of stablecoin holdings, trailing behind Vietnam with 58.6%. The report, based on a survey with 5,268 participants across China, Vietnam, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand, indicates that over 70% of respondents in these countries have more than half of their asset portfolio in cryptocurrencies.

Notably, while China has officially posed difficulties for the crypto industry, with a trading ban in 2021, the majority of Chinese investors still prefer trading on centralized crypto exchanges (CEXs), defying regulatory challenges.

The survey also reveals variations in risk appetite among investors in the region. Despite regulatory hurdles, Chinese crypto enthusiasts exhibit a higher willingness to invest heavily in cryptocurrencies compared to counterparts in Vietnam, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.

The majority of investors in these countries have reduced their holdings in stablecoins, signaling a more risk-averse approach to crypto assets.

The report further highlights the evolving regulatory landscape in Asia by the end of 2023, citing significant developments in countries like Hong Kong, which issued its first cryptocurrency exchange licenses, and South Korea, where new legislation was enacted to protect users and enhance market transparency.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission explored the possibility of allowing crypto exchange-traded funds after analyzing their development in global markets.

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