BitForex Freezes Withdrawals Amid User Complaints & Crypto Outflows

A crypto exchange based in Hong Kong, BitForex, has unexpectedly stopped allowing withdrawals from its platform for at least three days. The reason for this move is unclear, but it comes after a large amount of crypto was transferred from the exchange’s wallets.

According to an X post by ZachXBT, a researcher who tracks crypto movements, three BitForex hot wallets saw outflows of about $56.5 million in various cryptocurrencies on Feb. 23. Shortly after this, BitForex ceased processing withdrawals and did not make any official announcement about it.

Many BitForex users have reported issues with their accounts on the exchange’s Telegram channel. Some users said they could not log in to their accounts, while others said their dashboard showed no assets. Some users also shared screenshots of a pop-up message that said they were blocked from accessing the BitForex website.

BTC Politan also tried to visit the BitForex website but encountered the same problem. However, some website pages were still accessible, such as the one that announced the departure of exchange CEO Jason Luo on Jan. 31. This was the last update posted by the exchange as of Feb. 26.

Screenshot from the BitForex website showing it has been blocked. Source: BitForex

BitForex History & Reputation

BitForex was once one of the top global crypto exchanges in terms of trading volume. In September 2023, it claimed to have a daily volume of around $2.6 billion in crypto. However, CoinMarketCap does not currently provide any live data on exchange.

BitForex also faced regulatory scrutiny in the past. In April 2023, Japan’s FSA accused the exchange of operating in the country without proper registration and violating the fund settlement laws. However, the exchange has attracted little attention from regulators or the media since then.

BitForex is one of many Hong Kong-based crypto exchanges that have experienced troubles recently. Last week, another exchange, AAX, moved about $55.6 million worth of Ether from its wallets. AAX shut down its operations on Nov. 13, 2022, two days after FTX filed for bankruptcy.

AAX’s former CEO Thor Chan and board member Haoming Liang were arrested by Hong Kong police in 2022. However, the founder of AAX, who remains anonymous, is reportedly still on the run with 230 million Hong Kong dollars ($29.41 million) of users’ funds and private keys to the exchange’s wallets.

The fate of BitForex and its users is still uncertain. It is still being determined whether the exchange will resume withdrawals or explain the reason for the freeze. Users are advised to be cautious and vigilant when dealing with crypto exchanges, especially those that operate in unregulated or uncertain jurisdictions.

Related Reading | Gyeonggi Province Cracks Down On Crypto Tax Dodgers With New Tracking System

The author’s views are for reference only and shall not constitute any investment advice. Please ensure you fully understand and assess the products and associated risks before purchasing.

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