Binance helps recover stolen digital assets of NFT influencer

Binance helps recover stolen digital assets of NFT influencer

Crypto influencer “NFT God”, who lost a significant amount of digital assets to Russian hackers earlier this year, recently shared some good news on Twitter. Binance, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, has helped recover a portion of the lost funds.

The hack

NFT God, also known as Alex, suffered a major blow nine months ago when Russian hackers infiltrated his computer and made off with $150,000 worth of digital assets.

The hack involved malicious software hidden in a sponsored Google Ads link for video streaming software, which created a backdoor for the attackers. They managed to steal 19 ETH, a Mutant Ape Yacht Club NFT worth 16 ETH, and several other NFTs. The stolen funds were funneled and swapped for unknown tokens on the decentralized exchange, Fixed Float.

To compound Alex’s woes, the hackers also breached his Substack account and sent phishing emails to his 16,000 subscribers.

Binance to the rescue

Binance’s security team swung into action and tracked the Russian hackers for months, seizing the stolen funds “bit by bit” as the hackers moved them around. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao acknowledged their efforts in a tweet.

A step forward in the fight against crypto crime

This strategic move is a significant step towards holding digital thieves accountable and reinstating confidence in Binance and the larger crypto community.

The recovery of a portion of NFT God’s stolen assets by Binance marks a small yet significant victory in the ongoing battle against cybercriminals. However, the broader issues plaguing the NFT market—declining trading volumes, falling floor prices, and royalty rate controversies—remain unresolved.

A recent report by Alchemy revealed that NFT trading volume in July fell by 29% to $632 million, while token sales fell by 23% to $3.7 million. Furthermore, the decision of OpenSea to cut royalty rates paid to artists when a token’s ownership changes has fueled controversy. 

The move aims to incentivize more buying and selling in a market that witnessed a 95% plummet in trading volumes from $17 billion in January 2022. Consequently, royalties dwindled from a peak of $269 million in January to a mere $4.3 million in July, as rates paid fell from as much as 5% per transaction to just 0.6%.

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