Crypto Exchange OKEx Suspends Withdrawals Amid Crackdown By Chinese Police

Earlier today on Friday, October 16, popular cryptocurrency exchange OKEx had to suspend all withdrawals from its platform citing co-operation with “a public security bureau in investigations,” the exchange said.

As per the Bloomberg report, the Chinese police has launched an investigation after an unidentified staffer who was responsible for users’ private keys was “out of touch”. Following the investigation, the company halted all withdrawals.

The new triggered the sell-off in some of the top cryptocurrencies as Bitcoin price tanked nearly 3% in just 30 minutes going close to $11,100 levels before recovering back some of the losses.

OKEx CEO Jay Hao said that the staffer’s investigation with the police officials was a personal issue and that it would not affect the business. However, just a few hours before the announcement, the exchange saw major withdrawals of Bitcoin, Ether, Tron, via the OKEx-affiliated addresses. These transactions were picked by on-chain transaction monitoring service Whale Alert.

The notice from OKEx reads: "OKExs other functions remain normal and stable and the security of your assets at OKEx will not affected. We will resume digital assets/cryptocurrencies withdrawals immediately once the concerned private key holder is able to authorize the transaction.”

It further added: In order to act in the best interests of customers and deliver exceptional longtime customer service, we have decided to suspend digital assets/cryptocurrencies withdrawals as of [October 16, 2020 at 11:00 (Hong Kong Time)]. We assure that OKEx’s other functions remain normal and stable and the security of your assets at OKEx will not affected”.

But it also warned that “Pursuant to 8.1 Service Change and Interruption of the Terms of Service, OKEx may change the Service and/or may also interrupt, suspend or terminate the service at any time with or without prior notice”.

Centralized cryptocurrency exchanges continue to remain vulnerable to hacks and thefts. Recently, south Korean crypto exchange Bithumb was also caught by the Seoul police after the exchange founders cheated investors worth millions of dollars in a token sale.

Ultimately, the South Korea’s cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb was put up for sale. Market insiders have said that following the police investigations, Bithumb Holdings has decided to sell nearly 74% stake in Bithumb Korea.