Huobi, one of the biggest and most liquid bitcoin exchange, stands accused of “intentionally pull[ing] off the network cable” whenever “the market is hot.” The site is so slow during market moves, the accuser says, “traders can’t do anything but shed tears.”
In the first public threat of violence in this space, the individual, who says he has lost all his money due to “Huobi’s trickery,” states he will go to “Huobi Beijing company… wait by the door… [and] knife every guy who walks out.”
This space prides itself in maintaining a record of no physical violence in bitcoin’s eight years history. It is not clear how serious this public threat is.
In one of its sharpest move in years, bitcoin’s price went from as high as almost $1,300 to just under $990 within minutes yesterday on Huobi and OKCoin, to then continue a decline to as low as ¥6,000 ($866), a fall of almost 4,000 CNY in just a few hours, with many, undoubtedly, losing some or all of their funds.
Bitcoin’s price somewhat stabilized, but following the recent news that China may now be moving in to restrict the currency so as to further tighten its grip on capital controls, sharp movements returned, with price falling by ¥1,000 in minutes earlier today.
Although standards in the bitcoin space have increased considerably since the digital currency’s early days, signs of amateurism remain. Bitfinex was allegedly hacked last year, losing some $70 million. More recently, in echoes of MT Gox’s troubles during price rises in 2013, Coinbase, which is usually seen as being professional, experienced “a huge surge of traffic with this rally,” slowing down the website, according to Brian Armstrong, Coinbase’s co-founder.
Huobi, and, to a lesser extent, OKCoin, go “offline” during fast price movements, according to user complaints, which may disadvantage traders as they cannot react, leading to potential losses. It is not clear what is causing these freezes, with Huobi not responding to our requests for comments at the time of publishing.
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