Crypto exchange Binance has launched a $5 million bounty for information on potentially corrupt staff members after a spate of accusations alleged its crypto token listing could be front-run due to leaks.
In a series of Feb. 5 X posts, Binance co-founder Yi He said “heated discussions” had taken place in the community after a recent plunge in the price of Ronin (RON) after it listed on Binance.
Some community members on X alluded to a leak from inside Binance as the cause — but Yi He said that Binance found users discovered blockchain data showing the exchange readying to receive the token.
RON — the token of the gaming-focused blockchain of the same name — saw a price gain of over 30% in the week leading up to the announcement, per CoinGecko data. It fell 18% in the hour after Binance announced it would list it and is down over 26% on the day.
RON’s seven-day price chart shows a run-up before a sharp drop immediately after Binance’s listing announcement. Source: CoinGecko
The incident came only two weeks after Coinbase director Conor Grogan claimed to have found multiple wallets with a pattern of purchasing tokens minutes before they were listed on Binance and then selling them after the announcements.
Grogan speculated the wallets could be a “rogue employee connected to the listings team” with information on new token listings or a trader who found test trade leaks on the exchange.
In her recent X thread, Yi He announced the exchange will overhaul its token listing process, including up to a $5 million bounty for verified information on corrupt staff — beating the potential gains from the “rat warehouse.”
Binance team members involved in the token listing process will be subject to stricter controls, and leaked information about upcoming listed projects would first result in a warning while second-time offenders would be sacked, Yi He said.
She added that Binance would pay a bounty of $10,000 to $5 million to anyone who submitted information showing corrupt Binance team members in its token listing process or elsewhere.
Binance will also permanently blacklist projects who hire staff fired from the crypto exchange for corruption. Yi He said projects should contact Binance for background checks.
Its external communications will also be tightened up, with Yi He warning that Binance will cancel token listings if listing information is leaked ahead of time.
The exchange also aims to improve its technical monitoring, with Yi He saying while its token listing announcements are encrypted, it is possible scripts are monitoring Binance to automatically pounce on the news.