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Poland’s oldest exchange Bitcurex has mysteriously “disappeared” with users losing access to capital and locking 2,300 bitcoins out of users’ hands.
2,300 BTC Gone Forever
Local news sources report that following problems reaching back to October, the platform has now ceased operation altogether, with staff failing to release clear information.
Only social media pages survive, while it appears that a Polish public prosecutor investigation instigated by the exchange is no nearer returning lost funds.
Bitcurex’s problems began when an attack caused accounts to become unusable for customers. It subsequently transpired that “external interference in automated data collection and processing of information” meant all bitcoins on the platform had gone, Gazeta.pl reports, adding:
One thing is for certain: all the bitcoins in the Bitcurex portfolio have disappeared.
Owners’ Houdini Impression Continues
The exchange’s owners have meanwhile been making a name for themselves for the wrong reasons. Following the initial issues, hardly any official information has surfaced, while users are appealing to each other for leads regarding their identity.
“Anyone got any leads on an owner bitcurex or his next of kin?” one post on Bitcurex’s still live Facebook page read Monday.
Lawyers are also getting involved on the page, offering advice for those affected by the loss of funds.
Similarly, Gazeta postulates that this month’s final disappearance had deliberately fraudulent motives, coming as it did prior to a major uptick in Bitcoin’s price. Evidence for this theory is lacking, however.
The loss of funds marks the final fallout from another of 2016’s exchange casualties. Overall, at least eleven major hacks were recorded last year, underlining the continuing security issues faced by exchanges, as well as trust issues faced by the community, which have been touched on by commentators such as Andreas Antonopoulos.
Bitcoinist reiterates to readers never to leave bitcoins on platforms operated by third-parties, such as exchanges of any sort, which they do not control themselves.
“Not your private keys, not your bitcoin,” should be the mantra of every Bitcoin user.
It is interesting to note that Bitcurex’s fall from grace was precipitous. Just in July, the company added what it described as a “certified compliance department” to its outfit, ostensibly to ensure stable operations in line with relevant governmental legislation such as AML and KYC requirements.
Launched in 2012 in the Polish city of Lodz, the exchange processed over $50 million worth of BTC transactions in its final six months.
What do you think about the loss of Bitcurex? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Crunchbase