In response to mounting accusations and community concerns regarding potential corruption within its ranks, cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced a $5 million bounty for information on potentially corrupt staff members.
The decision follows a series of allegations suggesting that Binance’s token listing process might have been compromised, leading to unfair advantages for certain traders.
In a series of posts on X on February 5, Binance co-founder Yi He acknowledged the community’s concerns and detailed the steps the exchange is taking to address them. Key adjustments include strengthening internal management and implementing stricter measures to prevent information leakage within the currency listing group.
Team members responsible for any breaches will face severe consequences, including termination of employment. Binance also pledges to pay bounties ranging from $10,000 to $5 million for verified reports of corruption within its ranks.
Binance is also tightening its protocols for external partners, ensuring that communication regarding token listings remains confidential and secure. Any breaches in this regard will result in the cancellation of listings and potential blacklisting of projects or funds involved.
Yi He also emphasized the importance of enhancing technical monitoring capabilities to prevent potential exploitation of Binance’s trading pairs and announcements. Despite encryption measures, the exchange remains vigilant against scripts monitoring its activities, aiming to preserve fairness and transparency within its ecosystem.
Insider Trading Allegations
The controversy started following a price drop in Ronin (RON) shortly after its listing on Binance. While some community members alluded to internal leaks from within Binance, Yi He clarified that the exchange had detected users preparing to transact the token on the blockchain rather than an internal breach.
RON, the native token of the gaming-oriented blockchain platform Ronin, had witnessed a surge in price leading up to its listing on Binance, only to plummet by 18% within an hour of the announcement and further decline by over 26% throughout the day, according to CoinGecko data.
This incident follows accusations by Coinbase director Conor Grogan, who claimed to have uncovered suspicious wallet activity preceding token listings on Binance.
It appears that there is a pattern of Binance front-running over 18+ months
I found connected wallets that:
-Bought $900k Rari seconds before and dumped minutes after listing
-Bought ~78K ERN between June 17 and June 21 and sold right after listing announcement
-Did same w/ TORN https://t.co/yAolrfeHkO pic.twitter.com/VRq3vzfcgd
— Conor (@jconorgrogan) January 23, 2023
Grogan’s findings raised suspicions of potential front-running by a rogue employee with insider information or traders exploiting leaked test trades.