Cryptocurrency exchanges MapleChange and Wex NZ have allegedly ‘exit scammed’ their customers over the weekend, leaving thousands uncertain over whether their funds will be returned.
Wex NZ, previously named BTC-E, has been at the centre of insolvency rumours since the summer, with many users citing its inflated trading premiums and lack of transparency as a key indicator.
And now it seems as though customers’ fears have come to fruition as withdrawals from the site have been suspended.
Also another interesting twist. Wex cold wallets are moving funds through @binance . Meaning Binance is potentially help launder millions of dollars worth of stolens funds from Wex users. We have proof too. @cz_binance
— John James (@RedDragon___) October 28, 2018
It has been reported on Twitter that Wex has been sending its cold wallet funds to Binance, meaning that Binance is unintentionally involved in the theft.
Wex claims to be a Singaporean exchange offering 35 cryptocurrency trading pairs. $1.6 million of trade volume was facilitated in 24 hours from Sunday morning.
One aggrieved user of the exchange told Coin Rivet: “I have had funds stuck in there since July. They stopped withdrawals on July 16th for Ethereum, Bitcoin, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash, but continued withdrawals for USD-T, ZEC, XMR and PPC.”
USD-Tether suddenly started trading at a $6.50 premium, while ZEC traded at $950 as customers frantically bought the withdrawable tokens to cash out their funds.
The unfortunate investor continued: “The registered CEO of Wex (Dmitry Vasiliev) made an update on Telegram a few weeks back, he explained that he isn’t in control of Wex and that he doesn’t even know who the administrators are. He claims to have no control of the cold wallets.”
While panic ensued in regards to Wex’s official status, another cryptocurrency exchange took the plight as MapleChange went offline, writing on social media that it ‘didn’t have the funds to pay customers back’ and had to ‘close down’ as a result.
A small crypto exchange pulled off an exit scam, taking all customer funds.
There is no incentive for using small exchanges. Use established exchanges that are regulated, & transparent.
Small exchanges also focus on maximizing profitability, not security or investor protection pic.twitter.com/iKEO8rDv5z
— Joseph Young (@iamjosephyoung) October 28, 2018
The Canadian exchange claimed its site was ‘hacked’ at 4:13pm on Sunday, updating customers 12 minutes later with unbelievable claims that due to a ‘bug’ some people had managed to withdraw all customer’s funds, before stating that they were ‘sorry it had to end like this’.
MapleChange continued to update worried customers on Twitter, stating it could not refund BTC or LTC lost in the hack, but would be able to refund other cryptocurrencies. It went on to cause further dismay among its user base by stating that all funds had been handed over to the developers.
While both of these cases come to a close it’s important to remain vigilant with cryptocurrency exchanges. In this unregulated ecosystem security of funds should be a priority; investors are reminded to store their funds on a private or hardware wallet, and to never leave funds on an exchange.
For a guide on the top 10 cryptocurrency exchanges, click here.