Exchange Behemoths Combine Forces to Recover Lost Millions

Binance joins forces with HTX to attempt to track down users’ funds that were recently stolen from the exchange platform through a hack.

In the ever-evolving world of cryptocurrencies, security breaches continue to make headlines. In a surprising turn of events, just hours after cryptocurrency exchange HTX, formerly known as Huobi, reported a substantial hack resulting in an $8 million loss, Binance's CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao has extended a helping hand. CZ offered the expertise of Binance's security team to assist in the investigation of this audacious attack. Such timely interventions are crucial in tracking down and retrieving stolen digital assets, especially as hackers employ increasingly sophisticated methods to conceal their tracks.

In response to this unfortunate incident, HTX's global adviser, Justin Sun, has announced the creation of a Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU). This fund aims to serve as a financial safety net, offering reassurance to users in the event of asset losses caused by hacks or other unexpected events on the exchange.

Binance Offers Support in HTX Hack Investigation

Shortly after the cryptocurrency exchange HTX reported a hack that led to the loss of $8 million, Changpeng "CZ" Zhao, the CEO of Binance, stepped forward to offer the assistance of Binance's security team in investigating the attack.

Timely intervention is crucial when it comes to tracking down and recovering stolen cryptocurrencies, as hackers often employ techniques like using mixers or converting their ill-gotten gains into privacy tokens. On 24 September 2023, blockchain analytics platform Cyvers identified a hack that drained 5,000 Ether from one of HTX's hot wallets.

In a proactive attempt to minimize the damage, HTX offered 5% of the stolen funds as a "white-hat bonus," which equates to nearly $400,000. However, the hacker has been given a seven-day ultimatum to comply with the offer.

On a lighter note, CZ could not help but make a joke about the uncanny resemblance between the newly rebranded HTX and Sam Bankman-Fried's infamous cryptocurrency exchange, FTX. However, it is important to note that the circumstances surrounding the loss of funds in both exchanges are entirely different, with HTX being hacked and FTX being accused of running a scam.

Responding to a tweet from Tron founder Justin Sun, who also serves as an advisor to HTX, CZ officially appointed Binance's security team to assist in tracking down the stolen funds. In addition, Sun confirmed that HTX would cover all losses for its users, stating, "$8 million represents a relatively small sum in comparison to the $3 billion worth of assets held by our users. It also amounts to just two weeks' revenue for the HTX platform."

HTX has also taken proactive steps by implementing real-time monitoring mechanisms to prevent future losses. While Sun denies having a significant stake in HTX, he pledged to conduct several live streams in both English and Chinese to discuss exchange security.

Just one day prior to the HTX hack, the decentralized peer-to-peer network Mixin Network suffered a severe blow, losing nearly $200 million in a hack that involved the compromise of a third-party cloud service provider's database.

An independent investigation conducted by Web3 SaaS analytics platform 0xScope uncovered the hacker's historical ties to Mixin Network. In 2022, an address linked to the hacker had received 5 ETH from Mixin, which was later deposited into Binance.

Deposits and withdrawals on Mixin Network are expected to resume once vulnerabilities are confirmed and fixed. However, plans for recovering the lost assets of users have not been announced at this time.

As the cryptocurrency industry continues to grapple with security challenges, timely responses and collaboration among exchanges will be critical in safeguarding user funds and maintaining trust within the ecosystem.

HTX Establishes Secure Asset Fund (SAFU)

In the wake of the $7.9 million exploit of its hot wallet over the past 48 hours, HTX's global adviser, Justin Sun, announced the creation of a Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU). This fund serves as a financial safety net designed to reimburse users in the unfortunate event of asset losses resulting from hacks or other unforeseen incidents on cryptocurrency exchanges.

The security of user-owned assets on cryptocurrency exchanges is of paramount importance, and SAFU is a significant step towards providing greater reassurance to HTX's users. In a post on the social media platform X, Sun revealed that this fund would specifically cater to losses resulting from platform security issues. He also highlighted that HTX has implemented real-time monitoring mechanisms to prevent such losses from occurring in the future.

Sun also took the opportunity to reiterate HTX's strong commitment to security in his social media post, stating, "Our multi-backup, multi-signature cold wallet system ensures 100% security. Security is an ongoing commitment, and we will continually update and iterate on security measures to ensure that our users' assets remain the safest in the industry."

According to data from DeFillama, HTX holds approximately $2.77 billion worth of digital assets, including prominent cryptocurrencies like Tron (TRX), Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum, and others. With such a significant amount of assets under its custody, the exchange's proactive steps to enhance security and establish a SAFU fund are crucial in maintaining user trust and safeguarding their investments.

In an industry where security breaches and hacks are unfortunately common, measures like SAFU play a vital role in demonstrating an exchange's dedication to protecting its users' assets and ensuring their peace of mind when trading cryptocurrencies. HTX's commitment to ongoing security improvements and risk mitigation will likely be welcomed by the cryptocurrency community as a positive step forward in safeguarding digital assets.

Price Overview

Despite the unfortunate incident, the price of HTX’s native token HTX was able to achieve a 24-hour gain. According to the cryptocurrency price tracking website CoinStats, HT was trading at $2.44 after its price increased 0.14% throughout the past day of trading.

Price chart for HT (Source: CoinStats)

The altcoin was unable to display the same strength against the market leader Bitcoin (BTC) in the last 24 hours, and was outperformed by 0.12% by the leading cryptocurrency during this period. Consequently, 1 HT token was estimated to be worth 0.00009306 BTC.

Notably, HT had traded within a relatively tight range over the past 24 hours. This was evident by the fact that the cryptocurrency’s 24-hour high stood at $2.45, while its daily low was situated at just $2.42.

Technical Overview

Daily chart for HT/USDT (Source: TradingView)

From a technical perspective, HT was rejected by the $2.5020 resistance line over the past 72 hours. This not only resulted in HT’s price breaking below both of the 9-day and 20-day EMA lines, but also led to it breaking below the ascending price channel that had formed on its daily chart throughout the previous 2 weeks. Consequently, the cryptocurrency’s price may continue to decline in the next few days. If this bearish thesis is validated, HT’s price could fall to $2.3025.

On the other hand, if HT is able to recover back within the positive price channel within the upcoming 48 hours, then the bearish thesis could be invalidated. In this scenario, HT’s price could attempt to rechallenge the $2.5020 barrier to potentially flip it into support. Thereafter, a daily candle close above this noteworthy price point could open up the door for HT to continue to climb to $2.6260 in the proceeding couple of days.

Investors and traders will want to take note of the fact that the daily MACD line was attempting to cross below the daily MACD Signal line at press time. Should these two technical indicators cross, it may suggest a continuation of HT’s short-term bearish trend. As a result, the altcoin’s price may drop to the aforementioned $2.3025 mark.

Disclaimer: Coinpaper does not recommend that any cryptocurrency should be bought, sold, or held by you. Always conduct your own research and consult your financial advisor before investing in any digital asset.