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Binance Freezes $4.2 Million of XRP in Response to $112 Million Ripple Co-Founder Hack

Binance, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, took swift action in response to the $112 million hack on Chris Larsen, co-founder of Ripple, freezing $4.2 million worth of XRP.

This incident, occurring on January 31, 2024, has already emerged as the largest hack of the year.

In an announcement shared on the social media platform X, Binance’s CEO, Richard Teng, disclosed that the exchange had effectively frozen the hacker’s address.

He extended his gratitude to ZachXBT, an on-chain investigator, and the Ripple team for their collaborative efforts in resolving the issue.

Thomas Silkjær, the Head of Analytics and Compliance at the XRP Ledger Foundation, contradicted Teng’s claim, asserting that the foundation had initially initiated the investigation.

This divergence in perspectives underscores the collaborative nature of the response to the hack.

Contrary to initial beliefs, it was not the Ripple token itself that was compromised, but rather Chris Larsen’s personal wallet.

Importantly, the hacker chose not to employ crypto mixer services or decentralized exchanges to obscure their identity, a departure from recent trends aimed at avoiding the risk of asset freezing by centralized exchanges.

ZachXBT further revealed that the account associated with the hack had been erroneously tagged as belonging to Ripple in XRP block explorers, such as XRPScan and Bithomp, causing confusion about the true nature of the breach.

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Chris Larsen confirmed that several of his personal XRP accounts were indeed compromised, resulting in the theft of 213 million XRP tokens, equivalent to approximately $112.5 million.

In response, Ripple has initiated discussions with various cryptocurrency exchanges to freeze the hacker’s address, and they have notified law enforcement agencies to assist in the investigation.

The hacker’s attempt to launder the stolen XRP involved at least six different exchanges, including MEXC, Gate.io, Binance, Kraken, OKX, HTX, and HitBTC, resulting in the acquisition of 213 million XRP tokens.

While Binance has taken proactive measures to freeze a portion of the pilfered assets, other exchanges like OKX and Kraken have not yet disclosed their actions regarding the hack.

Cointelegraph reached out to both Binance and Ripple for further comments but has not received any responses at the time of this publication.

The cryptocurrency community awaits further developments in this high-profile cybercrime case.

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Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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