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Crypto exchange leader Binance bolsters user safeguards with new audit program

Binance teams with blockchain security firms CertiK and PeckShield under "Project Shield," which provides a thorough audit of projects against strict security, legal and regulatory compliance standards and ongoing performance reviews.

Blockchain crypto exchange giant Binance announced today that it has launched Project Shield, the latest level of protection designed to safeguard Binance users and provide them access to secure projects.

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Project Shield is Binance's third endeavor to provide greater security to those who use the crypto exchange trading platform after their security research and investigations program and user-accessible security tool. According to Binance, Project Shield provides a thorough audit of projects against strict security, legal and regulatory compliance standards and ongoing performance reviews.

The Singapore-based world's leading crypto-asset exchange claims that this is the first time a crypto exchange has implemented this level of protection.

The projects audited are based on token standards BEP-20 and ERC-20 that trade on the Binance exchange. (BEP-20 is the token standard for creating currencies on the Binance Smart Chain platform, while ERC-20 is the standard used for all smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain to administer tokens.) Binance noted in its announcement, however, that stablecoins and mainnet tokens aren't included in its program.

Binance said that blockchain security companies CertiK and PeckShield will help provide "thorough security audits" when reviewing project tokens that get listed on the exchange, auditing some 150 project tokens by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Binance said it will provide real-time security assistance to the listed and listing project teams, supporting the project owners to improve and enhance any vulnerabilities that may have arisen as a result of the audits.

Changpeng Zhao, Binance CEO and founder, who goes by the initials CZ, said that the number of people who are interested in the cryptocurrency marketplace -- and its potential for profitability -- has increased, making it riskier for more people, especially those who don't have the proper knowledge and research, to invest in cryptocurrencies. CZ believes that Project Shield will provide protections for such users. "With the increased standards of security for projects, we believe that the industry will get healthier, which will allow for greater mass adoption in the near future," he said.

Binance's audit program comes at a time when industry leaders are voicing the need for increased security measures and greater regulation. It also comes days after exchange platform AscendEX was hacked, resulting in stolen funds totaling $77 million across chains Ethereum ($60 million), Binance Smart Chain ($9.2 million) and Polygon ($8.5 million), according to PeckShield. A week earlier, crypto exchange BitMart reported that hackers stole $150 million worth of tokens, although its loss was closer to $200 million, according to PeckShield ($100 million on Ethereum and $96 million on Binance Smart Chain).

In November, Binance launched an ad campaign to help guide regulatory discussions and to further develop and secure crypto markets, resulting in its 10 Fundamental Rights for Crypto Users. "Securing our platform is one of our key priorities," said Tigran Gambaryan, vice president of Binance's Global Intelligence and Investigations division in response to the launch of Project Shield, adding that it will help leverage industry partners and strengthen its defenses.

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