ChangeNOW’s AML Action Lead To The Return Of $15M COMP

ChangeNOW’s AML Action Lead To The Return Of $15M COMP

Earlier this week, ChangeNOW announced that it was able to identify and return 45,505 COMP back to Compound. The estimated value of this recovery is around the $15m mark. This remarkable achievement is further proof of the effectiveness of the exchange’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) procedures.

In an announcement made on ChangeNOW’s website, the company provided further details on what exactly took place.

How a Smart Contract Bug Put Over $135M at Risk

Compound is a decentralised finance (DeFi) platform that utilises COMP as its native token. A glitch in the platform’s upgrade led to around $80m worth of the tokens being incorrectly distributed to users.

It appears that a further $60m+ were taken by an unidentified user who transferred them to Comptroller, a distribution pool made up of numerous users.

Whilst a substantial amount was recovered, several million were still at large. Compound’s founder, Robert Lescher, sent out a tweet asking for the money to be returned. He also appears to have threatened to “doxx” users, effectively reporting them to the IRS.

ChangeNOW to the Rescue

On the same day that the DeFi platform suffered its glitch, 30th September 2021, ChangeNOW received a transfer request totalling 45,505 COMP. The AML system used by this decentralised exchange flagged this transaction as suspicious. Following an investigation by the compliance team, it was determined that these funds were part of the recent incorrect distribution.

As a result, the decision was taken to return these funds to their rightful owner, Compound Finance.

This action was only possible as a result of ChangeNOW’s commitment to safeguarding its users and their funds. Borrowing best practices from the broader financial services industry, the exchange is leading the way to transform cryptocurrencies into a reliable and secure payments ecosystem.

A Community Coming Together

For ChangeNOW, this is certainly a story with a happy ending. However, the team at the exchange is far from naive and understands that it was only possible following an agreement amongst all parties involved.

In fact, the user who held the funds had to agree to return the amount. He or she would be able to claim a 10% white-hat reward but declined. This allowed Compound to receive the full $15m amount. The efforts of ChangeNOW were highlighted by a tweet from Lescher.

This shows how cryptocurrencies are different to fiat currencies. These new-age coins and tokens are as much about fostering a community of trust as they are serving as a convenient transfer of value.

ChangeNOW is certain that bugs, leaks, and hacks will continue to appear, however, a concerned community can help make a massive difference to limit the damage. The team believes that, with few exceptions, cryptocurrency users share common values and want to see the coins they support to succeed.

How is ChangeNOW Different from Other Exchanges?

ChangeNOW is an instant cryptocurrency exchange that lets you trade over 300 supported coins and tokens. Rather than compete with centralised exchanges, such as Binance and Bitfinex, ChangeNOW partners with them, providing some of the best exchange rates in the world.

Unlike many other cryptocurrency exchanges, ChangeNOW does not provide an in-built wallet. The non-custodial service is registration-free, meaning you don’t need to identify yourself or provide personal details.

Even though it offers a nearly anonymous service, ChangeNOW has robust Know Your Customer (KYC) and AML protocols. As this story has revealed, the compliance team is trained and tasked with safeguarding the exchange’s reputation and ensuring that its transactions are legitimate.

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