According to Radio Olsztyn, former co-owner of the Polish cryptocurrency exchange service BitMarket, Tobiasz Niemiro, was found dead on July 26. According to police, it appears that the former owner of the now-defunct exchange died of an apparent gunshot wound to the head. While suicide is presumed, police have not made a formal conclusion at this point.
Niemiro first gained recognition when he purchased BitMarket about a year after it had launched. He partnered with Marcin Aszkielowicz, but it was not long before it was realized that the platform lacked the proper liquidity to maintain operations, bringing trading on the exchange to an abrupt halt.
The company released a statement that it had ceased operations. In the release, they explained, “Dear Users, We regret to inform you that due to the loss of liquidity, since 08/07/2019, Bitmarket.pl/net was forced to cease its operations. We will inform you about further steps.”
While the company cited “liquidity” issues for the shutdown, speculation quickly arose that the company had been hacked or been mismanaged in some way. This had become a common occurrence with bitcoin exchanges, including at Mt. Gox and QuadrigaCX, where these kinds of issues led to an immediate ceasing of operations.
The shutdown affected 400 users who lost their assets. Customers began scouring the Internet looking for any information they could find which would explain the shutdown, but very little was available.
Niemiro claimed that he was not responsible for what occurred, explaining in an interview that, “I lost everything because somebody led to the collapse of the stock exchange. Now I’m losing face and good name for which I’ve worked all my life. I am one of the victims.”
If suicide is truly the cause of death, it appears that the former co-owner wanted to make one last salvo before departing. Polish businessman Adam Socha wrote in his own blog post that hours after the death of Nierimo that he had discovered an email from the former BitMarket owner. In his blog post, Socha explained:
The email was long. It seemed like he had found himself in an environment of shady businessmen. He gave names. I will not disclose its content because of the investigation. I forwarded the email to the prosecutor’s office. He also wrote that he would provide certain materials, but he didn’t have time.
Police have not provided any further details, and have not given any kind of timetable of when an official report will be released.
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