A South African digital currency exchange that went into liquidation earlier this year may have lost 54 BTC, worth $3.3 million, and several other smaller digital currencies. iCE3 exchange went into liquidation in early April, engaging in a blame game with its technology provider as its clients remained in the dark.
As CoinGeek reported, the exchange blamed its Austrian technology provider Merkeleon for discrepancies in its BTC and Litecoin wallets. It later suspended deposits and trading of all digital currencies on the platform, and then went on to delete its Facebook and Twitter pages, leading to a panic among its users.
Now, the provisional liquidator has revealed that the exchange’s BTC wallet is short 54 BTC. Dewald Breytenbach of National Liquidators, who confirmed that he is in control of some of iCE3’s BTC wallets, said he found 22 BTC while he expected to find 76 as per the exchange’s records.
The liquidators also found discrepancies among other smaller digital currencies. Speaking to local business news outlet Moneyweb, Breytenbach stated, “In some instances, we discovered more [smaller] cryptos than we expected, and in other instances we discovered less, so it’s all over the place.”
The liquidator told the outlet that he has traced the exchange’s problems to a dispute that arose between its founder Gareth Grobler and Merkeleon, its tech provider.
“iCE3 and its founder Gareth Grobler assumed this was a partnership, while Merkeleon had an entirely different understanding. Grobler says he developed the software on which the exchange operated, while Merkeleon took care of the administration, for which it invoiced iCE3 every month,” he explained.
National Liquidators has been in touch with Merkeleon and is hopeful that it will get more information about the missing digital currencies. The tech firm is also expected to provide a full accounting of all the digital currencies under its administration.
Some of the clients of iCE3 who lost their assets have taken to court to sue the exchange. One user, who lost R2 million ($136,700), has gone to court to force the liquidator to refund him through the digital currencies it has in its custody.
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