- Binance has frozen $11.8 million in stolen USDT, with CZ addressing concerns about centralized control.
- Crypto stakeholders are increasingly upping efforts to curb the illegal flow of funds in the industry.
- Binance has announced the discontinuation of Russian ruble deposits starting November 15.
Binance has frozen more than 90% of the $12.5 million in bitcoin assets stolen from executives of an undisclosed client in Montenegro.
Binance CEO Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao revealed that the executives were kidnapped and forced to empty their crypto wallets during their “business trip.”
The Funds Stolen Were In USDT
The stolen monies were in USDT and were transferred to a Tron wallet, which aided Binance in freezing $11.8 million in assets.
However, the crypto community raised concerns about the similarities between crypto and traditional banks in terms of asset seizure. CZ reiterated that assets can only be frozen if they are moved to centralized exchanges, stating:
““If you use Monero (XMR), then there isn’t much anyone can do (or to help you with), as far as I know. Bitcoin can be traced, but not frozen, until you send it to a CEX.”
Meanwhile, Binance’s quick response is consistent with the industry’s goal to reducing illicit crypto asset movement.
Fighting Illicit Fund Movement in Crypto
Following rumors that Hamas had gathered a considerable quantity of bitcoin to finance attacks against Israel, major cryptocurrency stakeholders have increased their efforts to stop the flow of illegal cash in the market.
Key people in the cryptocurrency industry have vehemently defended the technology, claiming that blockchain advances can curb illicit money transfers.
Coinbase, for example, argued that blockchain technology has the ability to curb terrorism financing, underlining that existing financial systems, rather than cryptocurrency, remain the primary routes for such activities.
Furthermore, Binance has emphasized its role in supporting authorities in combating illegal cryptocurrency use.
Binance Stops Accepting Russian Ruble Deposits
Binance will stop accepting Russian currency (RUB) deposits on November 15. This decision follows the sale of its Russian subsidiary to CommEX, a crypto corporation based in Russia.
The CommEX platform promotes users to send Russian rubles without paying any fees. Customers must remove all Russian rubles from Binance before January 20, 2024.
The decision to cease ruble deposits follows Binance’s announcement in September of its pullout from Russia and the transfer of assets to the newly formed CommEX. However, controversy has erupted due to a lack of information about the sale and CommEX.