Business 29 October 2018

Dennis Wafula

Alleged hack forces Canadian crypto exchange to go offline

The cryptocurrency community in Canada is lost for words after MapleChange, a small crypto exchange based in Alberta, went offline.

The crypto exchange took to Twitter over the weekend to announce that unknown hackers had withdrawn “all the funds” from the platform. MapleChange claimed a bug was the reason for the alleged hack, and said it has to close down even its social media accounts “because we have no more funds to pay anyone back.”

Several hours after going off the grid, the exchange announced on its Twitter account that it “simply turned off our accounts temporarily to think this solution through.” However, MapleChange said it’s unable to refund all of its users’ funds, but the exchange said it “will be opening wallets to whatever we have left so people can (hopefully) withdraw their funds.”

It is still unclear how many people have been affected by the “hack” and how much the exchange has lost. What’s evident, however, is that the incident has all the signs of an exit scam—especially given its decision to delete all of its social media accounts, albeit temporarily.

An in-depth look at MapleChange also revealed that unlike other professional operations, the platform was registered at GoDaddy by one Flavius P. No other information is available about the company, which bills itself on Twitter as “a high-quality, responsive and swift trading platform based in Canada.”

It’s also worth noting that the alleged hack appeared to have occurred at a time when MapleChange was having a lot of traffic. According to reports, MapleChange was doing quite well in the last couple of weeks. If indeed this was a scam, to say that the people involved have made away with a large sum of money is a huge understatement.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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