Binance Coin Jumps 5% Despite Alleged KYC Leak

Binance Coin (BNB) appears to have bucked a modest crypto market correction on Wednesday, rising against the grain despite news of a massive customer-data leak at the Malta-based exchange.

BNB Price Update

The BNB price appears to have weathered a broad downturn in the crypto markets early Wednesday afternoon. The cryptocurrency was up more than 5% at $29.24, according to CoinMarketCap. BNB was the only coin in the top ten to report gains in the last 24 hours.

Binance Coin also advanced against bitcoin, with the BNB/BTC exchange rate climbing 6.2% to 0.00250813.

In dollar terms, BNB is trading at its highest level in over two weeks. As the following chart illustrates, BNB has been mostly range-bound over the past month and is trading well off its record high of $39.57.

BNB monthly chart. | Souce: CoinMarketCap.

At current values, BNB has a total market capitalization of $4.5 billion, putting it in sixth spot on the active leader board. Reported trade volumes were $283.1 million.

BNB is one of the top-performing cryptos of 2019 thanks to the growing popularity of the Binance exchange and the centralized nature of the asset itself. Weiss Ratings, a Florida-based rating agency, says BNB is successful because it is centralized. 

Binance Suffers Alleged Data Leak

Binance is reportedly investigating an alleged leak of customers’ KYC information that may have been compromised three months ago when hackers withdrew $40 million worth of bitcoin. The security breach forced Binance to halt transactions temporarily as it investigated the matter.

On Wednesday, a person or entity by the name of “Guardian M” on Telegram released hundreds of images of Binance customers holding their IDs and pieces of paper as part of the know-your-customer verification process. The hacker, who is in direct contact with CoinDesk, said he or she has at least 60,000 more images that will be released.

In an official response, Binance said it is investigating the matter, but that an original review found “inconsistencies when comparing this data to the data in our system.”

The company said:

“On initial review of the images made public, they all appear to be dated from February of 2018, at which time Binance had contracted a third-party vendor for KYC verification in order to handle the high volume of requests at that time. Currently, we are investigating with the third-party vendor for more information. We are continuing to investigate and will keep you informed.”

Binance is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume. It operates the world’s largest bitcoin spot market, as verified by Bitwise. The company says it is offering a reward of 25 BTC to anyone who can provide information on the identity of the hacker.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. Chart via CoinMarketCap.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi