Binance freezes the stolen XRP from a hack on the founder of Ripple

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The new CEO of Binance, Richard Teng, announced that they have frozen part of the XRP stolen the day before in the hack against Ripple co-founder, Chris Larsen. 

In total, they managed to intercept and freeze the XRP linked to that hack for a total amount of $4.2 million. 

The XRP hack on the Executive President of Ripple Labs: Binance takes immediate action

Chris Larsen co-founded the company Ripple Labs in 2012, and he is still the Executive Chairman today.

On Wednesday, it admitted to having suffered a hack as a result of which approximately 213 million XRP were stolen, for a total amount of about 112 million dollars.

Larsen has revealed that someone has managed to access some of his personal XRP accounts, which however have nothing to do with the Ripple company. 

He also stated that they were quickly able to identify the problem and notify the exchanges, asking them to freeze the funds coming from the addresses involved in the hack, and to involve law enforcement.

In total, the 213 million XRP stolen were sent to eight addresses, one of which must have transferred a portion to Binance. 

Larsen also specified that it was only an isolated incident, while the company’s wallets are still safe and have never been compromised. 

Latest news on the hack of Ripple’s founder: Binance freezing the stolen XRP 

Teng has stated that after discovering the exploit that occurred against Larsen in advance, the Binance team was able to freeze 4.2 million dollars in XRP. 

In addition, he stated that they appreciate both the community’s efforts in reporting these incidents to the exchanges and the work of the Ripple team in collaborating with them.

He wrote: 

“We will continue to support Ripple in its investigations and efforts to recover the funds, including closely monitoring most of the funds still in the exploiter’s external wallets, in case they deposit them on Binance.”

In addition, they have invited projects and users to always contact them in cases like this.

Other XRP stolen from Larsen has been sent to Kraken and OKX.

The vulnerability

The technical details of the hack have not been disclosed, so it is not possible to know precisely which vulnerability the attackers exploited. 

However, it is presumed that Larsen held those funds on a non-custodial wallet, which would also imply that the blame could somehow be his. 

In fact, the only way to withdraw funds from a non-custodial wallet without the owner’s consent is to be able to find the private keys. 

So either Larsen made a mistake by not keeping his private keys safe, or someone must have somehow managed to get them or have the XRP sent to them.

The fact is that the story has too many dark points, to the point that one could even imagine that Larsen did not keep them on a non-custodial wallet, or that there is something else behind it.

In fact, 31 minutes passed between the moment when the suspicious transactions were discovered and the moment when Larsen publicly admitted the theft. For some, this delay is considered too long to simply be a coincidence. 

However you look at it, although the blame remains on the attackers, Larsen must have some kind of responsibility in the matter, even if he had only failed to securely guard the private keys.

Ripple and the XRP crypto 

Ripple Labs is a fully private company. It was founded in 2012 under the name OpenCoin by Chris Larsen and Jed McCaleb, and it operated based on the Ripple Transaction Protocol (RTXP). 

XRP is the native cryptocurrency of the Ripple protocol, and with McCaleb’s departure from the project, the Stellar project (XLM) will be born. 

XRP has been present in the crypto markets since 2013, which is two years before the arrival of Ethereum.

At the time of the news of the hack against Larsen, its price dropped from $0.52 to $0.49, but then later returned to $0.50. 

Despite now having a price 3% lower than it was seven days ago, it remains in line with the second half of 2023. 

To be honest, at the beginning of 2023 it was below $0.35, but by July it had risen to about $0.50.

After a brief peak at $0.82 at the end of July, when it won the case against the SEC, it had returned to around $0.50 before the late 2023 mini bull run that brought it above $0.7.

However, with 2024, it saw all the gains obtained during the mini bull run evaporate, and now its price is perfectly in line with that of the previous months. 

The price of XRP has been relatively stable over the long term for a few years now, to the point that the current price is even in line with that of February 2021, before the last major bull run that temporarily brought it above $1.8.