Business 11 March 2019

Steve Kaaru

Bitcoin Private accuses HitBTC of fraud, blackmail following delisting

It has been a saga that has provided fresh twists all along. It all began after HitBTC crypto exchange delisted Bitcoin Private (BTCP). The exchange released a statement recently explaining its decision to delist the project. According to the statement, the decision was mainly due to BTCP’s “incapability to protect its blockchain users and partners from the consequences of the arguable Coin Burn decision.”

However, in a fresh twist, a section of BTCP has accused HitBTC of blackmail leading to the delisting. In a letter written by the Petros Law Group, more details behind the delisting have come to light. The group reportedly wrote the letter on behalf of the BTCP community, its developers and contributors.

On the letter, the group accuses HitBTC of complacency, which eventually led to the loss of 58,920 BTCP tokens to the coin burn. The letter details all the events that took place, starting with the launch of BTCP in March 2018. HitBTC reportedly charged the project $500,000 in listing fees to be paid in Bitcoin Core (BTC). The project also submitted its whitepaper which detailed the coin burn and gave the projected date.

In January this year, BTCP notified its users that a coin burn would take place on February 16. It urged them to move their coins in readiness for the event. In the days leading up to the event, BTCP reminded its users to be ready for the coin burn or risk losing their tokens. 

However, HitBTC got involved midway, sparking the conflict that led to the delisting. In a tweet that it has since then reportedly deleted, the exchange responded to a user who was concerned about the safety of his BTCP tokens:

“There is no need to do anything. Coins in addresses that existed before the creation of BTCP will be made unspendable, but our wallets were created after that time, so they will all be safe.”

Just before the coin burn, the exchange reached out to BTCP asking for its assistance. Apparently, HitBTC was unable to move their BTCP tokens and wanted assistance to avoid losses. The situation escalated quickly and ended up with the exchange demanding to be compensated for the 58,920 tokens it stood to lose. 

BTCP reveals that it offered all the technical support it possibly could to the exchange. However, it refused to yield to blackmail and compensate the exchange, as the exchange was clearly at fault. The exchange delisted the project shortly after, blaming it on their inability to protect their users. 

HitBTC is yet to respond to the accusations.

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.

Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is today the only Bitcoin project that follows the original Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, and that follows the original Satoshi protocol and design. BSV is the only public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin and will massively scale to become the world’s new money and enterprise blockchain.

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