Bitsane, an Ireland-based cryptocurrency exchange vanished into thin air last week, along with the assets of more than 246,000 users. This is following many users reporting the inability to withdraw their assets over the last few months notably May.
Users who tried Bitsane’s support team were met with “temporarily disabled due to technical reasons.” responses. Soon after, Bitsane’s website went offline and their social media handles were deleted by June 17. Their email accounts are also no longer active.
Many of the members have gathered in Telegram and Facebook Groups to compare and evaluate the situation. According to Forbes, the losses range from $5,000 to one person in the U.S. who claims to have lost $150,000 worth of XRP and Bitcoin.
This is nothing new to the crypto industry as GateHub and Binance also faced attacks that led to the loss of assets but an exchange that had had 246,000 registered users having a daily trading volume of $7 million completely disappearing is mindblowing and does not help the industry in any way.
These are the remarks from the user who claimed to have lost $150,000 of his assets,
“I was trying to transfer XRP out to bitcoin or cash or anything, and it kept saying ‘temporarily disabled.’ I knew right away there was some kind of problem. I went back in to try to look at those tickets to see if they were still pending, and you could no longer access Bitsane.”
Bitsane came into popularity following the crypto boom in late 2017 and early 2018. Bitsane came into popularity as it offered Ripple’s XRP, which at the time was not available on Coinbase, one of the most popular U.S. cryptocurrency exchange.
It’s popularity skyrocketed after CNBC published a story titled “How to buy XRP, one of the hottest bitcoin competitors.” and following Ripple themselves listing Bitsane as an available exchange for XRP. However, They have removed it following the recent events.
Bitsane started in November 2016 and its CEO Aidas Rupsys and other senior employees have deleted their LinkedIn accounts, and are under the grid following the disappearing of the exchange.
Maksim Zmitrovich started a separate company, Bitsane Limited, as he aimed to own the intellectual property rights to parts of Bitsane’s code and use it for his company Azbit, A trading platform. Zmitrovich says Bitsane’s developers were adamant that their exchange’s name is on his new establishment. However, the partnership fell out and Azbit didn’t use any of Bitsane’s code base and was eventually filed for dissolution by May 16.
Bitsane exchange’s victims have stumbled upon the public filing and are accusing Zmitrovich as part of the scam, to which his response was,
“I’m sick and tired of these accusations, This company didn’t even have a bank account.”
Azbit followed it with a blog post referring to the Bitsane scam on June 13, elaborating on Bitsane Limited’s lack of involvement.
The location of the digital assets and all of the employees of the exchange are still in the air. Multiple users in the U.S. are in talks with the FBI in an attempt that seems to be futile to recover their stolen assets.
This is definitely a step back for the Crypto Industry that is constantly looking to clear its scammy image in the public. This is not a random attack. It’s an entire exchange disappearing which is jaw-dropping and will send shivers down the spine of every trader who stores their assets in similar exchanges across the globe.
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