Coinbase Pays Out $250K Bounty To Ethical Hacker Who Prevented Nuking Of Entire Crypto Market By Reporting Critical Flaw

An ethical hacker, who potentially saved the entire cryptocurrency market from disaster by discovering a flaw in Coinbase Global Inc COIN platform, has been paid a reward by the latter. 

What Happened: The hacker, who goes by the handle “Tree of Alpha” on Twitter, said they were paid $250,000 by Coinbase as its largest-ever bounty.

A flaw in Coinbase's “Advanced Trading” feature would have allowed a malicious user to sell Bitcoin BTC/USD or any other coin without owning the underlying asset. Tree of Alpha said on Twitter that Coinbase’s reaction speed on a Super Bowl Friday “averted a possible crisis.”

The white hacker detailed on Twitter how the vulnerability could have affected Coinbase in a Twitter thread.

“We will never know what exactly could have happened should a black-hat hacker try to exploit it, and it is better this way,” said Tree of Alpha.

Why It Matters: Tree of Alpha said on Twitter that they did not need money and did not report the bug for that purpose.

The hacker said, according to a CoinTelegraph report, that “while a higher bounty might have been wise to deter more grey hats from exploiting vulnerabilities, it is common in the crypto sphere to lose touch with the value of money. For most working human beings, $250K is a very decent sum.”

Ahead of the Super Bowl, Tree of Alpha had tried to contact Coinbase and said that they were submitting a hacker1 report and it couldn’t wait as it is “potentially market nuking.”

Thanks to the efforts of social media users and the cryptocurrency community, the white hacker got in touch with Coinbase. 

CEO Brian Armstrong thanked Tree of Alpha for working with Coinbase’s team and appreciated the community helping each other out. 

Price Action: On Friday, Coinbase shares closed 1.4% lower at $189.16 in the regular session. At press time, Bitcoin traded 5.1% lower at $37,260.52.

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Posted In: CryptocurrencyNewsMarketsTechBrian ArmstrongCybersecurityEthical HackersExploits
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