If you’ve never considered keeping your crypto funds outside of an exchange, the events in the Republic of Ireland would give you a rethink. It appears Bitsane, a cryptocurrency exchange platform based out of Dublin, has ceased its operations and disappeared with users funds, per a Forbes report.
Boom! They’re Gone
But there were warning signs. According to the report, users had witnessed multiple issues with withdrawals as far back as May 2019. Some weeks after, Bitsane deletes its social media accounts, shuts down its servers and disappeared. In addition to that, Bitsane’s trading information on CoinMarketCap has also not been updated for the past 10 days. All signs point to the fact that Bitsane just kiboshed and vanished into thin air.
Multiple user groups on Facebook and Telegram have seen various complaints lodged, with customers claiming to have lost crypto assets valued anywhere from $5,000 to $150,000.
Good afternoon. Much respect to your work. Question: I'm a US Army veteran, missing over $7000 USD worth of crypto in bitsane. Considering Dmitry Prudnikov, I must ask if you have advise about my hard earned investment, before I contact every news agency in the country.
— Shane Johnson (@MrShaneson) June 26, 2019
According to the report, an anonymous user said, “I was trying to transfer XRP out to Bitcoin or cash or anything, and it kept saying ‘temporarily disabled.’ I knew right away there was some kind of problem. I went back in to try to look at those tickets to see if they were still pending, and you could no longer access Bitsane.”
Bitsane was established back in 2016, and it has been providing spot trading capabilities for numerous cryptocurrencies ever since. The company gained notoriety as one of the first exchanges to partner with Ripple Labs and offer crypto trading in XRP. It has continued to grow since then, with data on CoinMarketCap showing Bitsane had about 246,000 registered users and a daily trading volume in excess of $7 million.
However, even with all its considerable popularity, it would seem that the exchange’s operators have now pulled a Houdini on their customers.
Another QuadrigaCX Maybe?
While there could be various reasons why the exchange would suddenly disappear, the consensus is that its operators were con artists who simply waited for the perfect time to elope with users’ funds. This looks like QuadrigaCX with a different national flag.
Ireland isn’t known to be particularly crypto-averse, and it has witnessed a lot of involvement in cryptocurrency and blockchain. Most notable is the expansion of Coinbase’s Debit Card into the country, along with five other European nations. Earlier this year, three major Irish banks also partnered with auditing giant Deloitte to run a pilot on the Ethereum blockchain-based data management platform. Blockchain courses are also being taught in tertiary institutions. The Dublin City University joined forces with Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet to develop a Blockchain Master’s Degree course in May.
So, it’s pretty evident that the country has a solid relationship with the blockchain technology. While a lot of crypto exchanges tend to shut down operations and close shop due to stringent regulations from their home governments, this couldn’t have been the case for Bitsane. Any argument of a government crackdown is thus rendered mute.
For now, it’s a bit too early to say what caused Bitsane to vanish. However, there’s a really slim chance that its operators would be found.