Binance, the largest crypto exchange in the world, found itself combating allegations that one of its employees used insider access to boost the hottest meme coin of the moment: Book of Memes, better known as BOME.

BOME, launched on Thursday and quickly emerged as a fan favorite among crypto traders and influencers over the weekend after its price ballooned by 3,000% within days. In the last 24 hours alone, the token has seen a seismic $1.83 billion worth of trading volume, according to CoinGecko

Much of that momentum was triggered by Binance’s unusual decision to list the token on its exchanges less than 48 hours after BOME’s creation. Typically, having a token approved for trading on Binance takes several weeks, if not months. 

Raising more eyebrows was a massive BOME transaction made shortly before the coin’s Binance listing, which then profited handsomely off the event. Just hours before BOME gained exposure to the over 170 million accounts on Binance, a Solana trader bought $2.3 million of the coin. Within minutes, the bag almost tripled in value. On-chain data analysis firm Lookonchain first spotted the transaction. 


Questions began swirling online: Did this trader know about the impending Binance listing? Did they work at Binance? And why did the exchange list BOME so abnormally quickly? 

By Monday, distrust surrounding the situation had festered to the point that decision-makers within Binance felt they had to respond. 

Mid-day in Asia, Binance’s Chinese-language Twitter account posted a response to what it called the “so-called BOME rat warehouse” incident—shorthand for growing accusations that someone within the company may have used insider knowledge to benefit from BOME’s listing—or guarantee it in the first place. 


“We take this information very seriously and immediately launched an internal investigation based on relevant leads,” the exchange announced. “Based on our preliminary investigation results, the person mentioned in the relevant information has no connection with Binance.

In the post, Binance also pledged its commitment to rooting out potential corruption in its ranks, offering to pay bounties between $100,000 and $5 million for information regarding any illegal or unethical activity by the exchange's employees.

As far as the "BOME rat warehouse" matter, the post appears to suggest that Binance only investigated whether the beneficiary of the massive pre-listing BOME purchase was themselves a Binance employee. 

Decrypt reached out to Binance to ask whether the company is also currently investigating how and why BOME was approved for listing so unusually quickly and by whom, but did not immediately receive a response. 

The company does not disclose its evaluation process for listing tokens—a policy that, in light of events like today’s, appears to some to be a larger concern than isolated accusations of insider trading. 

While the BOME whale’s identity is still unknown, one thing that is certain is that they haven't jumped ship, at least not yet. At the time of writing, the Solana user still retains all 314 million BOME tokens they bought on Friday—even though the token has since fallen substantially from its post-listing peak. 


BOME is down over 36% in the last 24 hours, to barely more than a cent at writing. That’s still up 55% from when the anonymous whale invested before the weekend, but the user has had several untaken opportunities in the last two days to cash out and make millions.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

Daily Debrief Newsletter

Start every day with the top news stories right now, plus original features, a podcast, videos and more.