Cryptocurrency exchange Binance temporarily halted its blockchain network after $568 million worth of cryptocurrency was stolen off the platform.
The exploit occurred on a bridge between blockchains and hackers withdrew a total of 2 million in Binance Coin or “BNB”, according to a blog post by Binance on Friday morning. That’s equal to around $568 million in current prices. An earlier estimate placed the amount withdrawn at around $100 million.
The exploit is under “control now” said Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the billionaire cofounder of Binance, on Twitter on Friday morning. The value of BNB sank more than 3% on Friday morning, according to CoinMarketCap data.
The issue occurred on the cross-chain bridge, which allows transfer of tokens from one blockchain to another. According to the Binance blog post, “decentralized chains are not designed to be stopped, but by contacting community validators one by one, we were able to stop the incident from spreading.”
This was not easy, the post says, because the chain has 26 active validators and 44 in different time zones, which delayed closure.
Zhao said on Twitter that “in all likelihood, Binance will cover any fund that the hackers get away with.”
Chainalysis estimates that around $2 billion in cryptocurrency has been stolen in 13 separate cross-chain bridge hacks, a majority of which are from 2022. Attacks on these bridges account for over half of stolen funds in 2022 so far, the analysis says.
Earlier this year, crypto startup Nomad lost around $190 million. In February, decentralized finance platform Wormhole experienced a $325 million hack on the platform.
Crypto markets have broadly took a hit this year. Bitcoin
was just below $20,000 on Friday.