Business 30 January 2019

Steve Kaaru

Bear market claims another victim as Ukrainian exchange shuts down

The bear market has claimed yet another victim. Ukrainian exchange Liqui recently announced that its closing down, citing a lack of liquidity. In its announcement, it expressed its regret at the action and its hope that the market will turn around.

Liqui wasn’t the biggest of exchanges, but the shutdown will still affect many traders. More importantly, it will have a ripple effect on the market and could further erode faith in the future of the industry. At its time of closure, Liqui was ranked the 188th largest crypto exchange globally. In its last 24 hours of operation, it had facilitated $18,500 worth of crypto trades. However, during its better days, it facilitated up to $4 million in trades.

Liqui users will be able to withdraw their funds in the next 30 days, the exchange announced. The announcement said:

“You will be able to withdraw your Digital Assets through our website within 30 days after this message was sent. If you did not withdraw delisted Digital Assets since we announced changes in our policies, you will also have another 30 days from the date this message is sent.”

Users who don’t withdraw their funds in the 30 days will stand the risk of losing their assets. The exchange sounded a warning saying that, “after 30 days we cannot guarantee that we will be maintaining our website.” However, Liqui promised to offer assistance to its users during this period through its FreshDesk page.

Despite the gloom, the Liqui team was hopeful that things will turn around and that it could return to business. It stated:

“We may be back soon. However, that depends on the market which has significantly changed since 2017. We do not know what else to say but say thank you for supporting the cryptocurrency community and your faith in us.”

Dark Times

These are dark times for the industry, and Liqui’s shutdown is proof. In the past year, many crypto firms have found it extremely difficult to operate. Some have shut down and others have laid staff off. Ethereum Classic’s developers shut down last year, citing the lack of funding as the main reason. Incidentally, a few months later, ETC suffered a 51 percent attack which briefly paralyzed the network.

Last year, a report by Sky News revealed that over 300 crypto and blockchain firms in the U.K. had closed shop. While most of these were small startups, even the giant firms are feeling the heat. Bitmain has already shut down its non-core business units, such as artificial intelligence, and laid off a huge number of workers. Kraken also laid off 57 employees last year, a third of its workforce then. Consensys, Steemit, Spankchain, Coinfloor and Shapeshift are some of the other crypto firms that have laid off their workers.

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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