London’s High Court has ordered six cryptocurrency exchanges, which includes Binance, Coinbase, CoinDesk sister company Luno and Kraken, to disclose client information to help trace $10.7 million that was stolen from a U.K.-based exchange in 2020, according to a court judgement.
The exchange, which remains anonymous as it continues to track stolen funds, managed to trace $1.7 million of the ill-gotten gains after it was hacked in late 2020.
The $1.7 million was dispersed across 26 accounts on six off-shore crypto exchanges, all of which are now required to hand over documents under a new U.K. rule applying to foreign companies.
“The case is a huge step forward for those who are trying to recover assets that have been taken fraudulently and moved across borders,” said Syedur Rahman, a partner at law firm Rahman Ravelli that represented the U.K.-based exchange.
“This ruling is concrete proof of the value of the change to Practice Direction 6B and the possibilities that it offers to anyone facing the task of tracing and recovering what is theirs.”
Cryptocurrency-related fraud experienced a sharp increase this year, with ActionFraud revealing that $273 million had been stolen in the U.K. in 2022, a 32% increase on the previous year.
U.K. government took steps to prevent the proliferation of crypto crime last week as it voted to give authorities wider powers to seize cryptocurrency assets tied to criminal activity.