back to article Binance robbed of $600 million in crypto-tokens

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance temporarily halted its blockchain network on Thursday in response to a cyberattack that led to the theft of two million BNB tokens, notionally exchangeable for $566 million in fiat currency. The shutdown, requiring the cooperation of 26 validators to close the decentralized system, occurred …

  1. Chubango

    lol. lmao even.

  2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    I feel sorry for

    The left-behind generation of bank robbers being forced back into the workforce by the recession

    Good old east-end blokes (played by Michael Caine or Timothy Spall) who spend all week tunnelling into a bank vault or at home sawing off shotguns to rob a bank for less than the cost of the getaway Ford Transit

    Then there's the poor old Sweeney, they don't get to leap out of Ford Cortinas and shout 'your nicked' to the aforementioned old lags.

    1. keithpeter Silver badge

      Re: I feel sorry for

      I appreciate the nostalgia but then I reflect on the increased quality of life of security van drivers, bank tellers and night watchmen.

      Icon: Z cars. First time I heard the local accent on telly.

  3. wolfetone Silver badge


    I was listening to a football finance podcast where someone asked a question regarding Cristiano Ronaldo and Binance - except there was a typo and the presenter thought the question was asking why Ronaldo was with Binface.

    And that there is the best thing about Binance really.

  4. Snowy Silver badge

    Yet another story

    About a broken bridge, I'm shocked!!

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: Yet another story

      Broken bridges seem quite popular at the moment......

  5. Kev99 Silver badge


  6. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Binance’s CEO, reiterated the apology and claimed everyone's money is OK

    Really? Because normally when $600 million is stolen, that means that everyone's money is not OK, because $600 million of it has been stolen.

    The ultra-financialisation of all this fake finance using ever more complex instruments that can be torpedoed by the most stupid of bugs in the design and the code is truly an amazing thing to behold.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Binance’s CEO, reiterated the apology and claimed everyone's money is OK

      If a real bank loses $600m the government pays up.

      If a magic beans store fintech loses $600m, you better hope they can create some more magic beans coins

      1. Dimmer Bronze badge

        the government pays up

        Nope they don’t. You have a max of $250k per bank. Regardless of how many accounts you have at that bank. (In a US fdic insured bank)

        Common mistake if you don’t read the fine print and they prefer you don’t.


        If you don’t have transactions on that account within certain periods of time, the state steals it.

        If you don’t catch a fraudulent transaction within the 45 day window, you loose it.

        If you use your PIN number to do a transaction and it is scammed, they don’t have to pay.

        Any Fed, state, county, city and judge can seize your account. No reason needed. Ask the people that tried to help the Canadian truckers during the COVID protest.

        I worked at a bank and saw all this and then some.

        Depending on your marital status, it is usually safer in your pocket.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: the government pays up

          "Any Fed, state, county, city and judge can seize your account. No reason needed. Ask the people that tried to help the Canadian truckers during the COVID protest."

          That was a good thing. I support the right to protest but you can't do it in a harmful way, specifically designed to distress people. If everyone used crypto currencies, imagine how many criminals and right wing extremists could smugly keep control over their money, with the authorities unable to seize it and use it for good, as they currently can.

          1. Wellyboot Silver badge

            Re: the government pays up

            You do understand that everyone including your good self may be subject to the same treatment?

            1. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

              Re: the government pays up

              No, no, not at all. Government would never misuse THE POWER in a careless, arbitrary, self-serving, or evil way! Only "enemies of the state" (definition varies depending on officeholders) have anything to fear!


            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: the government pays up

              I hope they do if I ever become a right wing extremist. It's like free speech, we need to roll it back because too many people can't be trusted with it anymore.

              1. Simian Surprise

                Re: the government pays up

                I hope they take all my money if I ever become as much of a bleeding idiot as it takes to post something like this.

    2. the Jim bloke

      Re: Binance’s CEO, reiterated the apology and claimed everyone's money is OK

      The "money" is fine...

      it just doesnt live here anymore...

    3. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Binance’s CEO, reiterated the apology and claimed everyone's money is OK

      "Stolen" is not the most descriptive word here. "Forged" would be better. 2M new tokens have been created compared to about 161M "legitimate" tokens. Binance say that most of the forged tokens cannot be transferred elsewhere but that $110M worth has escaped beyond their control. This means that everyone with BNB tokens lost about ¼% of their value. Apparently this is "OK" by Binance standards. Web3 is going great!

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Binance’s CEO, reiterated the apology and claimed everyone's money is OK

      Actually, real banks have upward insurance so that customer money is ok... Also, bank transfers are deliberately slow so that they can be stopped/reversed. Maybe Binance have insurance that covers their customer's investments? (LOL)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    oh well, all mine was in ADA, Doge, and what was that other worthless one.... was it bitcoin?? oh well, it was a fun january playing lotto online a year or 2 agp.

    (with furlough cash)

  8. Winkypop Silver badge

    Darn it

    Someone needs to change the sign to read: It has been [0] days since an Exchange has been robbed

    1. Howard Sway Silver badge

      Re: Darn it

      Nobody needs to change the sign. It's been accurately saying that for months.

    2. Pete B Silver badge

      Re: Darn it

      You can extend that to say it's been [0] days since the last MS Exchange zero-day

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not my circus

    Not my monkeys

    Not my keys

    Not my crypto

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      .. so fun to laugh at.

  10. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    And yet

    Some people still seem to think that this is 'money'...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And yet

      In any case, the operative word is now was..

  11. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    I wish The Register would stop using the cult term "fiat money". The correct expression is "real money" or simply "money".

    1. Mark 124

      In the context of a crypto article I think saying "fiat" is entirely justified. Anyone who's into crypto has thought a bit about what "money" really is, and that tenner in your pocket (or more likely these days the circuit in your NFC chip) is ultimately just an idea that a lot of people believe in.

      Crypto people just believe in some different ideas. Maybe a bit like notionally Christian nations still spend a lot because of santa and get excited about eggs at Easter time.

      If you want money that's not an idea, you need gold, as J.P. Morgan famously said:

      There are entire schools of economics (OK, not the most cult-free space!) where the distinction between "fiat" and "real" money is a fundamental principle, the Austrian School one being most prominent.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        European nations were celebrating a mid-winter festival and a spring festival long before Christianity was invented.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Really, who in the temperate regions wasn't? It's kind of an obvious thing to do.

      2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        Crypto people just believe in some different ideas.

        Wouldn't that make crypto "currencies" just as much fiat money as the real stuff that you can use to buy things other than drugs?

        Citing the Austrian School of Economics in a discussion about money is like citing L. Ron Hubbard in a discussion about mental health. Both are a bit of a dead giveaway

        1. Ropewash

          They basically are, the differences come from what they are backed with.

          For instance the USD is backed by really, really big bombs while crypto is backed by wishes and unicorn farts.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            .. and a specific Tweeting morons pumping his own holding.

            Unfortnately for him he won't be able to buy Twitter with crypto currencies.

        2. Mark 124

          "Fiat" generally means "the government has said so", while in most cryptos* there are various mathematical rules meant to stop anyone just saying so. They call it bitcoin "mining" precisely because you can't just say "look, I've got a new bitcoin" in the same way you actually have to dig for and refine gold. Last week on the other hand the Bank of England simply said "look, I've got £65 billion to help out pension funds."

          That most people believe the Bank of England and a lot of people believe the pope, and not so many people believe in Scientology or will accept bitcoin for groceries is, however, all down to human belief not inherent reality. "Fiat" is referring to the process for creating of new units of currency, not its utility for buying and selling stuff.

          Anything based on belief can be workable and appear "real" for a long time, but that doesn't make it actually real. Compare with things based on real physics, like that 100 grams of gold dropped on a bare human foot from 1.5 metres will hurt said foot, no matter who's head might be stamped on the back.

          * "Most cryptos" is important because to that extent I agree you that crypto coins are invented like fiat: nothing stops anyone saying "hey, I've invented XYZcoin and I'm a trillionaire." That's not likely to be a popular or useful coin though, but again that's down to human belief.

      3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        In the context of a crypto article I think saying "fiat" is entirely justified. Anyone who's into crypto has thought a bit about what "money" really is, and that tenner in your pocket ... is ultimately just an idea that a lot of people believe in.

        And anyone who cares is aware of all that, so there's no need for the Reg to stick "fiat" in all over the place.

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge


          We're gonna keep fiating the fiat words we fiatingly well want to fiat.


    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Fiat money is not a new term. It's a useful distinction from mineral currency (buying something with gold or another valuable thing directly), specie currency (paper attached to minerals, usually gold, held in reserve), and other currencies (anything where someone accepts it as a value exchange for buying something or paying a debt). Since cryptocurrency isn't much good at anything else, its only value, if it has any at all, is as an alternative currency. There are people who will exchange it for things we consider valuable, indicating that it does have some monetary value. The term applies well to distinguish the different kinds of currency, even if you don't like one of the members of the group.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well, apparently fiat is the only company with any money in crypto. Mercedes, Volvo, Kia - none of these get to play.

      I suspect the term 'fiat' is explicitly used to ensure that even those who consider crypto currencies a realistic future replacement for fiat (which, btw, is already an issue as money <> currency, but let's skip over the pedantics) get to distinguish between the two categories.

      One is regulated and has at least *some* guarantees, the other is a Wild West style combination of a pyramid scheme and gambling with massive ecological problems. The two worlds do have in common is that in both you can lose your shirt to unscrupulous operators, but the likelihood of recovery is a bit higher with fiat.

      1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

        Okay, but which is which?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Cars you can kick, so fiat is the real deal :)

    4. Claptrap314 Silver badge

      The term "fiat" was being applied to untethered currencies long before crypto was a twinkle in the eyes of some of the nerds on the cypherpunks mailing list.

      Since all major currencies have gone off the gold standard, it is entirely fair to call them "fiat". Especially since guys with guns show up if you don't show up with the right amounts of fiat from time to time.

      Not that crypto, as it is currently happening, can every qualify as a proper currency. More like a corporation with no assets or employees where the board of directors play a game to issue themselves stock from time to time, according to rules that some kind of majority can change whenever they agree to.

  12. johnB

    Cryptocurrency...Cayman Islands...blockchain......What could possibly go wrong ?

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Techbros at the top of the pyramid could fail to jump before it collapses?

  13. SirWired 1

    Explain to me how this is supposed to be better than the old way of doing things?

    Lets look at a bunch of reasons crypto is supposedly better:

    - "The transactions are immutable, no matter what! [Unless the people in charge decide they don't like your transactions, in which case they aren't.]

    - "It's all decentralized, making your funds safe!" [Unless the ownership or other form of control is held by a small group of people.]

    - "Everybody gets a say in how things are run!" [Explain to me how that's different than a corporation with voting shares again?]

    - "Code is law! No ambiguity or wiggle-room!" [Unless the people in charge decide that they didn't like a particular piece of code, and retroactively apply changes to it.]

    - "Everything's decentralized, making it extremely safe!" [Except for the fact that transaction costs are too high and/or the chain too slow, meaning many transactions aren't even done on the chain, just by the same sort of centralized structures that did them before.]

    - "Inflation is strictly controlled!" [Except when somebody counterfeits funds because crypto code is wickedly-complex, and difficult to get correct; and you are kidding yourself if you think there aren't crypto coins where this is a feature, not a bug.]

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Explain to me how this is supposed to be better than the old way of doing things?

      It isn't better than the old way. I don't like it either. Unfortunately, you've taken a bunch of true things about parts of cryptocurrency and jumbled them all together, suggesting they apply in a way they don't.

      For example, some cryptocurrencies are decentralized and some are not. People choose whether they want a decentralized one without the protections (the more common and well-known kind) or one where the central authority could wreck things for them, but you write as if every cryptocurrency has both, which they don't. Similarly, some cryptocurrencies have prohibitive transaction fees, and some don't, but you've applied the famously high fees from ones like Bitcoin to every one of them. Cryptocurrencies can use a "code is law" approach or a "voting shares" approach, but in most cases, they don't use both because that breaks a lot of things. By taking a few correct ideas about cryptocurrencies in general and mixing them into a frankencurrency that has the worst of everything, your argument for why cryptocurrency is bad has numerous flaws.

      Cryptocurrencies in general are risky and in many cases bad at accomplishing the goals they were intended to solve. I find it odd that, with the real problems almost all have had, there are so many people who argue against them using incorrect understandings of how they work. You don't need to look very hard to find something not to like.

    2. MrGreen

      Re: Explain to me how this is supposed to be better than the old way of doing things?

      Bitcoin is a better than the old way of doing things, “crypto” is not.

      Fiat = centralised

      Crypto = centralised

      Bitcoin = decentralised

      1. SirWired 1

        Re: Explain to me how this is supposed to be better than the old way of doing things?

        Bitcoin is not very decentralized; most of the power over the chain is held by the largest miners, and they can (and have) produced code forks. (Not to mention that because of the beyond-slow transaction rate, most BTC transactions are performed by centralized exchanges, not the BTC blockchain itself.)

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is there available…

    > the exploitation of the BSC Token Hub bridge, which connects the BNB Beacon Chain and the BNB Smart Chain

    …an English version of this article?

    1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

      Re: Is there available…

      Economically speaking, it's the equivalent of a shop which will swap your Green Shield Stamps for Pink Stamps, or vice versa, while taking a cut.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FFS !!!

    How many times is some crypto-crap going to be 'robbed' .... usually in the $100s of millions.

    Once is bad luck , twice is very bad luck .... but honestly I have lost count !!!

    If banks lost this amount of money as regularly someone would be more than a little concerned.

    I no longer believe that this is misfortune ... this is all part of the 'dodgy' nature of Crypto-currency and crypto-trading.

    If you cannot see this you deserve all the losses you WILL make !!!

    1. Paul Garrish

      Re: FFS !!!

      Whilst I agree Crypto seems very very prone to theft for a supposedly 'safe' system, have you seen how much banks and credit card companies lose every day?

      "Experts have estimated that global card fraud losses will jump from $7 billion in 2017 to $35 billion by 2020." (no idea which experts, but assuming the 7Bn figure is real suggests credit card fraud is a BIG problem)

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: FFS !!!

        Now express that relative to their transaction volume and total amount in circulation, versus the same figures for various cryptocurrencies.

        There are certainly problems with the existing monetary systems. None of the cryptocurrency systems are coming close to doing better. And anyone who follows the research on the latter, even at a surface level, will know that there's still a long way to go before they have any hope of doing so.

        It's possible that in the long run the Matt Green argument (cryptocurrency systems are abysmal, but the current mainstream systems are all pretty bad, so at least there's economic incentive to create a decent cryptocurrency system) will win the day over the Bruce Schneier argument (cryptocurrency will always be crap). I don't think the evidence is compelling either way, yet – though I really would like to see something more sophisticated than half-assed degenerate Merkle graphs and wildly inefficient PoW schemes in a major contender1 before finding anything encouraging about Green's side.

        1Yes, I'm aware ETH is now PoS.

  16. Maxcypond

    Let's all be honest, crypto is over. In this highly technological and computer operated world it been proven time and again that fiat currency is becoming MORE secure- not less. Bills have weight; it takes actual effort, access, and tiem to steal; and its security has proven far superior. Electrics banking does not need crypto? Electronic banking based and on a fiat currency work well. Crypto is a waste of energy, it less secure, and the ONLY group who find it more to tehir advantage are organized crime and terrorists - which explains why they want it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      In this highly technological and computer operated world it been proven time and again that fiat currency is becoming MORE secure- not less.

      Although I agree in general with your premise that crypto currencies are trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist, I would like to point out that especially credit card transactions are not that much safer - AMEX, Mastercard and VISA simply pay the costs of where it goes wrong and book it as the cost of doing business, because that is still several factors cheaper than fixing the problem.

      Apart from sticking a chip in a card (accompanied by the 'innovation" that it is now up to the user to prove he/she did NOT authorise a payment instead of the banks having to prove they did - a big and very sneaky win for the banks) and finally adding some 2FA by some banks, the only thing that changed is that they made the 'password' to your account longer so it went from card number + expiry date to Name + card number + expiry date + CVC, accompanied by some rules that evidently can be ignored at will judging by how much data can still be stolen when a processor gets hacked, and an infected computer will still happily allow manipulation and redirection of the data.

      When it goes wrong it is now more your problem than the banks, and they only pay you for the financial loss. Fat chance getting them to cough up for your time, loss of credit rating (a racket in itself) and all the aggro that you have to go through because they collectively don't see the issues as a problem. It's all fixable, but that would cost real money..

      After all, it doesn't affect their bottom line.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You talk of physical money - but that will be gone soon if the governments have their way. They are pushing more and more removal of actual physical money since it cannot be tracked.

      And banks agree since physical money is only a cost for them.

  17. OldCrow 1975

    Wanted Recovery agents.

    Willing to do anything necessary to recover stolen bitcoins.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hey Crypto Peeps. Save time, money and effort

    Just send your cash to me.

    Cut out the middle man/men.

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