The Capital
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The Capital

$41 Million Binance Hack Now Traced Using OriginTrail


The same technology that is being used to trace poultry and verify the provenance of physical goods can also be used to track digital assets and the Binance hackers. In the digital era, more and more goods are purely of a digital nature and each physical good that is tracked is also assigned its own digital identity. The Data Layer of the OriginTrail protocol has the capacity to make use of complex data spanning the global economy, from supply chains to financial systems.

Binance, the world’s biggest exchange for cryptocurrencies and digital assets (in terms of trading volume), announced that it lost some 7,000 bitcoin worth over $40 million in a hack last Tuesday. It was the largest hack in 2019 so far. The hackers transferred stolen Bitcoin to seven addresses.

Implementing traceability solutions in various industries since 2013 has led our team to both utilize and develop tools and frameworks that approach problems from a standpoint of very wide technical applicability. One such framework are the GS1 global standards, designed to enable visibility and identification of items in supply chains by providing a common data language, regardless of their physical or digital nature. This already very wide applicability, in terms of data handling, is then extended further by the OriginTrail Data layer through the simultaneous utilization of additional data standards, such as IoT-related standards (Web of Things), ISO standard data, and W3C recommended data models to enrich data, which provide appropriate context and create an interoperable knowledge graph.

Our engineering team has utilized the data available from the Bitcoin blockchain and put it in the context of GS1 standards for tracking goods and events and published it on the OriginTrail Decentralized Network. Using the underlying data layer capabilities and graph technology, the team was able to easily aggregate information in the GS1 standardised form, enabling us to do a graph visualization of how the stolen funds are being transferred and to add new, unstructured data to the graph as it becomes available. OriginTrail ensures the integrity of the data by replicating it on the OriginTrail decentralized network and establishes immutability by utilizing the underlying blockchain.

Here is a visualization of the data:

Part of the graph involving Bitcoin addresses, transactions and UTXO metadata
Binance hot wallet transaction flow

More importantly, we have set up an automation that will keep on tracking how the funds from the Binance hack are moving.

Visualizing addresses in ArangoDBs Web UI graph visualiser

Our mission at the OriginTrail ecosystem is to drive data exchanges with integrity and efficiency in order to close knowledge gaps between people and organisations that are preventing societal progress and leaving space for bad character and fraudulent behaviour. The open-source OriginTrail protocol, featuring, among other functional components, its powerful knowledge graph technology in the data layer, is proving to be instrumental for us to connect the dots in describing critical events in our daily lives, like understanding and knowing a product’s origin and authenticity and the better tracking of transactions potentially coming from multiple networks in order to fight criminal activity. In the years to come, the OriginTrail Decentralised Network, which is self-governed with data protected by powerful cryptography, will become fundamental to Web 3.0, contributing to a more inclusive, fair, and democratic internet.

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