Binance Halts $4.2M in XRP Linked to Major Hack: OPEC+ Freezes Output

In a significant development, Binance has put a halt to $4.2 million worth of XRP transactions, following a colossal $112 million breach affecting the personal wallet of Ripple’s co-founder. Simultaneously, OPEC+ has taken decisive action by maintaining output cuts to stabilize oil markets amidst ongoing volatility.

The recent hack, which targeted the personal wallet of Chris Larsen, co-founder of Ripple, sent shockwaves through the cryptocurrency community. As a result, Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, took swift action to freeze $4.2 million in XRP associated with the breach. This move marks one of the most significant responses to a cryptocurrency hack in 2024, underscoring the exchange’s commitment to safeguarding user funds.

Meanwhile, in the energy sector, OPEC+ has decided to uphold its voluntary output cuts, signaling a coordinated effort to stabilize oil markets amid fluctuating prices. This decision follows a period of declining oil prices, which saw a peak of $84 per barrel at the end of January. Increased production from non-OPEC oil-producing nations has partially offset the impact of OPEC’s output cuts. Notably, the United States has been at the forefront of efforts to boost oil supply, achieving record production levels in 2023. However, projections suggest a slowdown in US supply growth, with estimates dropping to 300,000 barrels per day compared to 800,000 bpd the previous year.

Against this backdrop, Binance CEO Richard Teng praised the efforts of on-chain sleuth ZachXBT and the Ripple team for their cooperation in addressing the breach. In a post on social media platform X, Teng revealed that the exchange had frozen the exploiter’s address, highlighting the collaborative approach taken to mitigate the impact of the hack.

In response to Teng’s tweet, Thomas Silkjaer, the XRP Ledger Foundation’s head of analytics and compliance, affirmed that the organization had played a pivotal role in investigating the matter. Early speculation surrounding the breach suggested that Ripple itself had been compromised. However, Chris Larsen clarified that it was his personal accounts that had been targeted, emphasizing that Ripple’s systems remained secure.

The breach, which resulted in the theft of 213 million XRP, or roughly $112.5 million, prompted attempts by the exploiters to launder the stolen funds through multiple exchanges. While Binance, OKX, and Kraken have taken steps to freeze accounts associated with the breach, the extent of the impact on the cryptocurrency ecosystem remains uncertain. Law enforcement agencies are actively involved in investigating the incident, with efforts underway to recover the stolen assets and hold the perpetrators accountable.

Image from Binance via Snippet Tool