(Yicai Global) March 8 -- Binance, a crypto trading platform founded by Chinese digital currency investor Zhao Changpeng, was suspected of being hacked yesterday. Many investors found digital currencies were sold in large numbers through their accounts without their knowledge. The incident led to a sharp drop in Bitcoin prices.
Binance's trading system failed late yesterday, several investors said, with some finding out later that their digital currencies had been sold for Bitcoins. Users speculate that hackers attacked Binance's application programming interface (API) key, taking control of some users' accounts.
Through these accounts, the hackers then used Bitcoin to buy a virtual currency called VIA, investors noticed. VIA's price has surged more than 110-fold in a short period of time. Many other digital currencies, including Bitcoin, fell by more than 10 percent.
Binance halted all withdrawals and said that the hackers did not benefit. However, according to industry analysts, hackers have set up Bitcoin short orders through other trading platforms, and they can profit without having to cash in after triggering price plunges and mayhem.
Binance was China's first cryptocurrency trading platform when Zhao created it last year. Affected by the country's regulatory policy, it has moved overseas and is not open to Chinese users now. Zhao, who styles himself as 'CZ,' ranked third on the cryptocurrency rich list announced by Forbes in February and appeared on the cover of the business magazine. News of the hack comes on the heels of a report two days ago that Binance's revenue soared to USD200 million from USD7.5 million in one quarter.