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Today’s Crypto Events Unfolded: A Recap

Binance Halts $4.2M Stolen XRP Linked to Ripple Co-founder; FTX Hack Suspects Revealed; Polygon Labs Implements Layoffs

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance took action against the $112 million hack targeting Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen, freezing $4.2 million worth of stolen XRP from his personal wallet on January 31. Binance CEO Richard Teng acknowledged the assistance of on-chain investigator ZachXBT and the Ripple team in this coordinated effort. Notably, the hacker refrained from using crypto mixer services or decentralized exchanges to conceal their identity, diverging from recent trends in the crypto space.

Larsen disclosed that several of his personal XRP accounts were compromised, resulting in the theft of 213 million XRP.

In a separate development, three individuals charged by U.S. prosecutors for orchestrating sim-swap attacks have been linked to the $400 million hack of FTX in 2022, occurring shortly after FTX filed for bankruptcy. The suspects, Robert Powell, Carter Rohn, and Emily Hernandez, allegedly executed SIM swap attacks, stealing identities of 50 victims and convincing telecom providers to transfer victims’ numbers to their phones. The indictment revealed an attack on “Victim Company-1,” believed to be FTX, where Hernandez impersonated an employee, enabling Powell to access the company’s AT&T account and transfer over $400 million in virtual currency from crypto wallets.

On a different front, Polygon Labs, the developer behind the Polygon ecosystem, announced a significant reduction in staff on February 1. CEO Marc Boiron stated that 60 employees would be let go to enhance performance, emphasizing the decision’s difficulty but necessity. Boiron clarified that the move was not financially motivated and assured a 15% pay increase for the remaining employees. This marks the second instance of large-scale layoffs for Polygon, following a 20% staff reduction in February 2023.

The tech and banking sectors have experienced widespread layoffs at the start of 2024, with BlackRock planning a 3% reduction in headcount and Block Inc., led by Jack Dorsey, reportedly laying off 1,000 people.

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