OKEx has announced that unrestricted withdrawals on the OKEx exchange will resume on November 27. OKEx suspended withdrawals on October 16th because one of its private key holders–OKEx founder Mingxing “Star” Xu–got taken into police custody for an investigation.
On November 18th, rumors began circulating that Star Xu would soon be released from custody. OKEx Ceo Jay Hao responded to those rumors and advised audiences to wait for the official announcement from OKEx before they draw any conclusion. Several hours later, OKEx released its official announcement, saying that,
One of OKEx’s private key holders has completed assisting the authorities in a previously referenced investigation. Throughout this investigation, OKEx was confirmed not to have been involved in any wrongdoing or illegal activities, and the private key holder has now returned to his normal business functions.
Which indicates that Star Xu is out of custody or at the very least, able to do business in a way that does not affect OKEx operations.
Why were withdrawals suspended for so long?
The period in which OKEx had suspended withdrawals was a painfully long 42 days. There has been no other instance in the blockchain and digital currency industry in which withdrawals were halted for such a long period of time. As a result of the suspension, the price of OKEx’s OKB token suffered, dropping roughly 30% between October 15th and 17th; and the hash power in the OKEx mining pool was also affected by the OKEx conflict, experiencing a 99% drop in hash.
So why were withdrawals suspended for so long? OKEx says it was because,
A private key holder was not able to authorize transactions. OKEx has always used a backup mechanism for private key holders to ensure that each private key holder can trigger the activation of the backup private key in the event of long-term incapacitation, such as death or memory loss. However, we unfortunately failed to include other specific scenarios, such as private key holders becoming unreachable due to unforeseen circumstances in our contingency plan. In this specific incident, therefore, the ultimate resolution for the private key holder’s short-term incapacitation was not a technical one.
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