People all around the world are wishing each other Merry Christmas, but this Christmas is not going to be that happy for a many users of the HitBTC crypto exchange. A large number of customer complaints have been surfacing recently around the internet claiming withdrawal delays lasting weeks, and also accusing the exchange of stealing their money.
With such outcry, it is strange that no official statement has been released by HitBTC, nor is it replying to any of the complaints.
For instance, a French man is claiming that his $55,000 fund withdrawal request has been stuck on the platform since December 17th. and upon enquiring, there was no response from customer support. He is joined by a fleet of distressed customers – one is claiming $400,000 in stuck funds.
One of the worried customers also dug out an account at Poloniex which has received all of HitBTC’s XRP, which amounts to nearly $15 million.
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A group of angry users are planning to file a class action lawsuit and is claiming to have reported the fraudulent activity to the UK police and FBI.
HitBTC is among the ten largest exchanges worldwide and if any of the accusations are true, it will be a huge blow to the crypto market.
The operations of the exchange are also very opaque. No details about the physical location of the company are provided on its website. According to some sources, the exchange is based in Hong Kong, while some have reported that it is based in Europe.
Anyway, this is not the first time that HitBTC has been charged with such allegations. Users have complained of frozen funds in the past amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The complaints were eventually resolved, which took months. The mammoth exchange Bitfinex has also had to handle similar complaints.
The unregulated nature of crypto exchanges makes them very risky for customers. Because they are not dealing with fiat currencies, they need to provide very minimal information to the authorities. These exchanges handle millions of dollars in funds daily and if any of them actually turn out to be scams, it will impact the entire crypto economy.