The Google-backed startup crypto-fueled shared wireless network that pays people to host hotspots, Helium, is making headlines today because of an accounting bug at Binance. The crypto exchange wrongly distributed nearly 4.8 million HNT worth approximately $20 million.
Helium community-run hotspots are rewarded with HNT tokens via the Proof-of-Coverage mechanism. While the MOBILE token is paid to Helium 5G infrastructure operators and lacks a liquid market or quotable price.
Binance mistakenly counted them both as HNT. Depositors who sent MOBILE to Binance addresses received the equivalent amount of more valuable HNT.
The bug effectively allowed 4,829,043 MOBILE tokens to take advantage of Binance’s accounting system.
The event of HNT tokens being sent in place of MOBILE was timed to coincide with a massive sell-off of HNT tokens, which drove the price down from the $7 range to current levels, around $4. Some users quickly profited from the tokens.
A spokesperson of the Helium Foundation said that the organization was informed by Binance on September 15 about the accounting error.
“We can confirm that this is not a chain issue and that this issue is isolated to Binance. To our knowledge, no other exchanges or third parties have been affected. We advise token holders to suspend HNT and MOBILE deposits on Binance until a comprehensive situation update is provided.”