Zhao Walks Back Re-org Comment


After a massive hack of over $40 million from Binance exchange hot wallets, the exchange’s fearless leader is apologizing for the choice of wording that he used recently in discussing possible responses to active threats.

Just yesterday, we reported that Binance chair Changpeng Zhao had talked about how the exchange had rejected the idea of mobilizing a 51% attack, where miners would control the majority of the blockchain.

We also reported why Zhao said this, as he noted that it would create a rift in the Bitcoin community – to say the least.

This morning, we see just how inflammatory the idea of a 51% reorg can be, as Zhao is trying to assure the community at large that just because he mentioned the word reorganization doesn’t mean that option is on the table.

Zhao used a security incident update released this morning to apologize for mentioning the possibility of a 51% response.

To be clear, previous reporting already confirmed that Binance is not going to do this – because creating a 51% strategy would undercut the decentralization that so important in Bitcoin and other blockchains.

But just to re-emphasize that point, Zhao characterized reorg as a “dirty word:”

“Given how much I talk, I sometimes say the wrong stuff, dirty words like ‘reorg’, for which I apologize,” Zhao said, according to Marie Huillet’s reporting in Cointelegraph this morning. “It is my strong view that our constant and transparent communication is what sets us apart from the ‘old way of doing things’, even and especially in tough times.”

He also explained the need for careful language in a type of “loose lips sink ships” statement:

“Hackers are reading every word we post and watching every AMA we host. Sharing too many security details actually weakens our security response strategy.”

So while Binance isn’t going to pursue the 51% strategy, Zhao did indicate that Binance is working to revamp security measures and tighten security protocols.

More than that is probably not forthcoming, simply because of what Zhao said about hackers trying to read the tea leaves and anticipate security responses.

And as we mentioned earlier in the week, experts are urging exchange participants not to leave their assets idly lying in exchange hot wallets.

Think of it this way – when you make a trade on the exchange, your assets directly after that are sitting on a digital table to which hackers have pretty convenient access.

So to stymie hacking attempts, move your goods from the table to some other more obscure place, and you’re already ahead of the game when it comes to theft and fraud.

Keep an eye out as Binance continues to do frantic damage control after an unprecedented hacking effort.