A UK court has ordered Binance to trace cryptocurrency hacked from one of its users, Fetch.ai, according to an order made public on August 13.
According to the documents, hackers accessed Fetch.ai's crypto accounts on Binance on June 6, selling assets valued at $2.6 million to a linked account for a fraction of their value to evade withdrawal restrictions.
The order requires Binance to find and freeze the crypto in question if it is on the platform. Binance's notification was, apparently, how Fetch.ai learned of the hack in question.
A representative for Fetch.ai told The Block "We have been working closely with Binance and local enforcement to obtain details about the hacker. Issuing a court order for the release of this information is a standard process."
In the order, the presiding judge denied the need to consider the possession of the private key and reinforced Fetch.ai's property rights over the crypto in play: "I am satisfied that the assets credited to the first applicant’s accounts on the Binance Exchange are to be regarded as property for the purposes of English law."
Beyond the controversy surrounding hacks of centralized exchanges, any interaction between law enforcement and Binance is a subject of curiosity.
Binance, the largest crypto exchange in the world, has been famously successful at keeping out of courts despite facing regulatory challenges in a growing roster of jurisdictions around the world, including the UK. The exchange has also been implicated in massive cash-outs of illicit funds, with reports emerging this year that the U.S. Department of Justice has begun investigating the exchange as a vector of money laundering.
Even in this case, the presiding judge noted: "Binance Holdings Limited, who, as I have explained, are not registered in, and apparently have no presence in, the jurisdiction of England and Wales."
Representatives for Binance did not respond to The Block's request for comment as of publication time.
Updated: 14:00 EST: This article has been updated to include a statement from Fetch.ai.