Following a hack that supposedly took place in December, the Russian crypto exchange Livecoin is closing its doors for good.
Now, in a Jan 16, 2021 message on its website, Livecoin said that it would be shutting down.
Livecoin Hack or Exit Scam?
At the time of the hack, Livecoin announced that it had been the victim of a carefully planned attack, noting that its servers were infiltrated in a technical and advanced manner.
At the time, 106 BTC, 361 ETH, and 236 BCH had been stolen from the exchange.
But some users called foul. In a forum thread, Livecoin users said that withdrawals had been halted up to 24 hours before the attack. Likewise, it was suspicious that a sophisticated hacker had used the same wallet for two different hacks.
The move seemed too unprofessional to many on the forum. Some frustrated users believed the hack was in fact an exit scam in which Bitcoin’s price was artificially inflated allowing for those in charge to cash out.
The closing message occurred on Saturday, Jan 16, 2021, about three weeks after the original attack.
The message on the Livecoin website said that the service had been “damaged hard” and that, “there is no way to continue operating business in these conditions.”
The company decided to pay what funds remained to its clients. Clients were asked to email email@example.com in order to verify their identities in order to retrieve what funds they may have had left.
How much funds remained, or how they would be divvied up, remains unclear. The site, which recently moved to livecoin.news from livecoin.net, asked very specific information from users, including scans of their passports and screenshots or videos of their transfers of funds.
Chat on the Livecoin Telegram showed users frustrated with the situation. Many said that they had not received funds or sent information to verify their identity which was deemed invalid, or the funds were not returned. At the time, it appeared their accounts are locked.
Not the First Issue
This is not the first time Livecoin has come under criticism. Earlier in December 2020, the VEROS platform asked clients to stop trading on Livecoin because the balance sheets that it saw did not add up properly.
In other words, it suspected that prices were being manipulated. VEROS said some trading pairs saw massive dumps, allegedly by bots on the exchange, which then scooped up coins for cheap.
VEROS also accused Livecoin of trading Monero that it knew to be stolen.
Meanwhile, Livecoin, which calls itself, “#1 Crypto Supplier,” warned of many scams that would be trying to get users’ funds;
“We have to warn you about tons of fake groups in different messengers and other channels, where people represent themselves as our team members, insiders, hackers etc.”