Business

Derek Tonin

Polish exchange Bitmarket suddenly shuts down, claims lack of liquidity

Another cryptocurrency exchange looks like it’s suddenly left the market, leaving customers wondering what’s going on. Polish exchange Bitmarket has suddenly gone offline, leaving only the smallest explanation for what’s happened.

As of July 8, visitors to the Bitmarket website are greeted by this message in both Polish and English:

“We regret to inform you that due to the loss of liquidity, [from] 08/07/2019, Bitmarket.pl/net was forced to cease its operations. We will inform you about further steps.”

With loss of liquidity being the only given reason for the exchange going down, it leaves a lot to the imagination. Considering the history of other exchanges like Mt. Gox or QuadrigaCX, the exchange could have been hacked, mismanaged, or it could be a big exit scam.

The situation has left customers to speculate and try to dig up any evidence they can to figure out what’s happened. In a Reddit post following the news, Reddit user OdoBanks noted several red flags in the final days before the exchange went offline. Users were forced to change passwords and API keys, withdrawals were also “halted on the basis of additional KYC requirements.”

On polish forums, users openly speculated that the exchange had been hacked, and this was all a reaction by Bitmarket to slow down volume and withdrawals so they could have more time to react. Bitmarket did not respond to accusations of a hack coverup, but insisted that their Know Your Customer (KYC) details needed some routine updating, and so they requested identification from users who’s previous details had expired.

With the truth still hazy, all we know for sure is that Bitmarket is suddenly no longer allowing trades due to a lack of liquidity, and has offered that their KYC details needed updating. Everything else is speculation.

While not one of the bigger exchanges in the world, Bitmarket still represented a sizeable volume of activity. According to CoinMarketCap, the exchange was responsible for $850,000 in volume in the last 24 hours, and $26 million in June. It’s also not a newcomer, having been in business since March, 2014.

This will be a story that needs to be followed, as customers still await news of what will happen to their balances, and if this is another one of those huge scandalous exchange shutdowns.

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