According to an order made public on August 13, a UK court has ordered Binance to trace cryptocurrency stolen from one of its users, Fetch.ai.
According to the documents, on June 6, hackers gained access to Fetch.ai’s Binance crypto accounts and sold assets worth $2.6 million to a linked account for a fraction of their value in order to circumvent withdrawal restrictions.
The order directs Binance to locate and freeze the cryptocurrency in question if it is present on the platform. Fetch.ai apparently learned about the hack through Binance’s notification.
According to a Fetch.ai representative, “We have been collaborating with Binance and local law enforcement to learn more about the hacker. It is standard procedure to obtain a court order requiring the release of this information.”
The presiding judge denied the need to consider possession of the private key in the order and reaffirmed Fetch.ai’s property rights over the cryptocurrency at issue: “I am satisfied that the assets credited to the first applicant’s accounts on the Binance Exchange are to be regarded as property for the purposes of English law.”
Aside from the controversy surrounding centralized exchange hacks, any interaction between law enforcement and Binance is intriguing.
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has been notoriously successful in staying out of court despite regulatory challenges in a growing number of jurisdictions around the world, including the United Kingdom. The exchange has also been linked to massive cash-outs of illicit funds, with reports this year claiming that the US Department of Justice has begun looking into the exchange as a possible money-laundering channel.
Even in this case, the presiding judge stated that “Binance Holdings Limited, who, as I have explained, are not registered in, and appear to have no presence in, the jurisdiction of England and Wales.”