The head of a Zimbabwean cryptocurrency exchange has lost the private keys to the exchange’s crypto wallet. Tawanda Kembo, the CEO and founder of Golix exchange was alleged to have lost the keys to a wallet which contained 33 BTC, currently valued at over $300,000. The lost keys seemed rather convenient, given that the story came about when most of the users were trying to withdraw their holdings after the market regulator cracked down on the exchange.
The news story was broken by Zimbabwean outlet, iHarare, citing two sources who worked at Golix. Just days later, Kembo the CEO, responded to the allegations. On the loss of the private keys, he stated, “Although I can’t say this is entirely untrue, it’s a statement that was taken completely out of context.”
He then went on to talk about the struggles that early Bitcoin adopters have had with their wallets, being elusive about how much of the users’ money he lost.
Kembo further stated that his exchange has been quite efficient when it came to funds withdrawals, refuting earlier reports that indicated hundreds of investors had been unable to access their funds.
He commented, “99% of the people who have attempted to make a withdrawal on Golix have seen in go through without a hitch. That’s because have invested a lot in building an infrastructure that makes this process easy and seamless but it’s the 1% of the cases that’s responsible for some of the misleading headlines you have been seeing lately.”
Golix has found it quite difficult to operate after the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe banned crypto trading last year. Kembo recognized the impact this has had, stating, “It is true however that over the last year we have mostly been unable to process any fiat withdrawals and this is because cryptocurrency companies can no longer get bank accounts in Zimbabwe.”
Golix had a good run before the banking ban, rising to become one of the largest exchanges in Africa. It even issued an ICO last year, promising to use the funds to expand to other countries including Kenya and South Africa. However, it never pushed through with the expansion plans, nor did it reveal how successful the ICO was.
On this, the CEO stated, “We took a position not to publicly disclose how much money we raised and that position has not changed.”
For the Golix users who have had issues withdrawing their funds, Kembo had some good news for them, assuring them that “I’ll be working on the support desk myself next week if you’re reading this and one of the people with account or transaction issues, please just write an email.”
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