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Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said executives from a client company were abducted and forced to drain their cryptocurrency wallets of $12.5 million after being lured on a fake business trip to Montenegro.

“We investigated the on-chain activities and reached out to our partners earlier today to have the wallet frozen,” Zhao wrote in a tweet. “We managed to freeze about $11.8m of the $12.5m stolen.”

The kidnappers had taken the funds in USDT and transferred the cryptocurrency to a Tron wallet, he said.

Binance Under Fire On Decentralization Issue

The swift action by Binance to freeze the stolen funds was met with both praise and skepticism. On one hand, many users congratulated Zhao and his team on their ability to track down and freeze the stolen funds.

Other members in the cryptocurrency space, however, drew parallels between Binance and the traditional banking system, and questioned how decentralized cryptocurrencies really are. One person replied to Zhao’s post asking how “crypto is better if someone can still freeze” peoples’ personal wallets. 

The Binance CEO then emphasized the importance of establishing a balance between complete decentralization and user protection, stating that “there is no perfect balance point.”

He also clarified that cryptocurrency funds cannot be frozen unless they are sent to a centralized exchange platform.

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