In a tweet Aug. 7, Changpeng Zhao described rumors circulating about the alleged Know-Your-Customer (KYC) data leak as an attempt to spread “FUD” (fear, uncertainty and doubt).

“Don't fall into the ‘KYC leak’ FUD. We are investigating, will update shortly,” he wrote.

Social media users had panicked earlier after what appear to be fake warnings showed figures posing with personal documents, apparently of Binance users.

In an official statement, Binance said: 

“We would like to inform you that an unidentified individual has threatened and harassed us, demanding 300 BTC in exchange for withholding 10,000 photos that bear similarity to Binance KYC data. We are still investigating this case for legitimacy and relevancy.”

The exchange adds that its initial review of the leaked images shows they’re all from February of 2018, when Binance “contracted a third-party vendor for KYC verification in order to handle the high volume of requests at that time.”

 “Currently, we are investigating with the third-party vendor for more information. We are continuing to investigate and will keep you informed,” Binance adds. 

“KYC is important” Telegram group member count soars

A dedicated Telegram group featuring the documents currently has more than 8,300 members, growing by thousands in a matter of minutes. Material posted to the group lacks the digital watermark Binance uses for its internal information, adding doubts about its authenticity.

Zhao meanwhile added that joining or spreading the link of the Telegram group is actually

helping malicious hackers or at least giving them attention. He concluded: 

“What we should do as an industry is to fight them. Stay on the positive side. Report the group, then leave.”

Binance is one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency platforms by volume. Last month, it introduced margin trading in a competitive move against market giant BitMEX.