Bancor Creates Crime-fighting ‘Crypto Defenders’ as Scorn Over $12 Mln Hack Escalates

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Self-styled “decentralized” exchange platform Bancor pledged to tackle cybercrime threats to cryptocurrency entities in a blog post July 12 as it resumed operations following a $12 mln hack this week.

Summarizing the platform’s future plans in the post, co-founder Guy Benartzi also announced that Bancor’s internal tools that helped tracked its hacked funds would be made available to a wider audience.

This move will form a precursor to a major crime-fighting initiative which Benartzi hopes will result in contribution of “resources and capabilities to fight criminals together.”

The initiative, described as a “coalition of crypto defenders,” will involve the platform and other as yet unnamed cryptocurrency industry businesses. Benartzi explained in the post:

“Members will collaborate on mechanisms to warn and assist each other in times of peril, coordinate around shared blacklists, and contribute open-source tools aimed at creating a safer world for all stakeholders.”

Bancor’s handling of the hack drew criticism from well-known industry figures and community members. The platform’s freezing of a smart contract containing almost $11 mln in its native token BNT runs contrary to decentralized principles, critics argued, while others claimed the fact that the attack was successful at all proved Bancor’s inferiority.

“An exchange is not decentralized if it can lose customer funds OR if it can freeze customer funds. Bancor can do BOTH. It's a false sense of decentralization,” Litecoin co-founder Charlie Lee wrote on Twitter July 9.

Lee subsequently focused attention on Bitcoin and Litecoin’s Lightning Network implementation, which he said would eventually be the “ultimate” decentralized exchange arena.

Other commentators were less reserved, trader Tone Vays calling Bancor an “ICO scam” and Bitcoin developer Udi Wertheimer describing claims user funds were safe as a “meme.”

“Users funds aren’t safe,” he continued on Twitter, adding:

“The stolen 25,000 ETH belong to BNT holders. They were stolen from a reserve managed by a smart contract to fund BNT liquidity, and they were put there by BNT token buyers.”

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