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Irish cryptocurrency exchange Bitsane disappears with customers’ funds: Report

Fri, 28 Jun 2019, 10:43 am UTC

Irish cryptocurrency exchange Bitsane has reportedly disappeared overnight along with user funds, Forbes reported June 27.

Problems started surfacing in May when users attempting to withdraw bitcoin, XRP and other cryptocurrencies could not do so. Bitsane responded to them via emails that withdrawals were “temporarily disabled due to technical reasons.”

Bitsane’s website went offline by June 17 and its Twitter and Facebook accounts do not exist anymore. Even the emails sent to Bitsane accounts are now returned as undeliverable.

The exchange, which was particularly known as a cryptocurrency exchange for XRP, had 246,000 registered users as of May 30. The daily trading volume was $7 million on March 31, according to CoinMarketCap.

Most users have claimed to have lost up to $5,000 with one U.S.-based user claiming to have lost around $150,000 in XRP and bitcoin. Several U.S.-based Bitsane users have said that they have filed complaints with the FBI.

Bitsane was launched in Dublin in November 2016, registering as Bitsane LP, and was led by CEO Aidas Rupsys and chief technology officer Dmitry Prudnikov, whose LinkedIn account has been deleted.

The following year saw the incorporation of another company, called Bitsane Limited, in England by Maksim Zmitrovich. He intended to own the intellectual property rights to part of Bitsane’s code and use it for a trading platform being developed by his company, Azbit.

As to why he used the same name “Bitsane,” Zmitrovich said that this was insisted by Bitsane’s developers. However, the partnership did not go through and subsequently, Bitsane Limited filed for dissolution.

Some of Bitsane’s victims suspected Zmitrovich’s involvement in the exit scam, which he has categorically denied. Azbit has also published an online post explaining that it has “nothing to do with Bitsane.”

“I'm sick and tired of these accusations,” Zmitrovich said. “This company didn’t even have a bank account.”

Earlier this month, another cryptocurrency exchange Coinroom, which was based in Poland, was reported to have disappeared with customers’ funds. In an update on its website, Coinroom now states that it will file for bankruptcy as soon as possible.

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