Bitcoin Chaser - March 29, 2019
Hong Kong-based HitBTC has been getting a flurry of complaints over social media. Reddit and Twitter users have taken to social media to complain about a number of issues. Some of these complaints are more prominent than others. But regardless of how much media attention these complaints may garner, and regardless of the veracity behind them, the fact that there are quite a few already puts HitBTC’s reputation in limbo.
In some cases, users have complained that HitBTC hasn’t even dealt with their complaints. That is the case of CryptoFrank123 who used a Reddit post to complain about HitBTC. According to this user’s post, HitBTC is “unlawfully withholding” Icon tokens from users and complaints have fallen on deaf ears.
Bitcoin Private – BTCP – devs are accusing HitBTC of wrongdoing as well. In an exchange between BTCP and HitBTC, the exchange asked for BTCP devs to provide support with technical issues regarding the upcoming fork of that altcoin. Apparently, HitBTC also demanded that BTCP send a total of 58,920 BTCP to the exchange as compensation for expected losses due to the fork. BTCP was willing to provide technical support but claimed that the payment was not justified. Following the back and forth, HitBTC delisted BTCP since the latter refused to send the funds over.
In yet another complaint, a Reddit user named “vandenhof” claimed that HitBTC was scamming its users. Vandenhof accuses HitBTC of appropriating user funds by allowing people to open accounts and deposit funds without a KYC/AML process, while making the process a requirement for withdrawals, effectively misleading users.
Vandenhof claims that there are an “astonishing number of complaints about HitBTC throughout social media outlets” especially with “regard to its unorthodox KYC/AML policy and withholding of client funds without justification.” Based on those claims, vandenhof launched a Reddit campaign to take legal action against HitBTC in Hong Kong.
With all these complaints all over social media and no official response from HitBTC, it is natural to start doubting what was once a pretty trustworthy exchange in the space. The HitBTC brand is taking a hit and its reputation might never recover.
As for the veracity of the accusations, it is difficult to determine what really happened in each case. Nevertheless, if so, many people are taking to social media to complain, then something must be off. HitBTC users should take a deeper look at these cases and re-evaluate their relationship with this exchange if necessary.
In any case, our standard recommendations apply here as well. Regardless of the cryptocurrency exchange you use, you should always keep your funds on addresses for which you control the private keys. Exchange accounts are vulnerable, and HitBTC, like any of the exchanges that worked well until they didn’t, shouldn’t be treated differently. You should make sure you are not exposed to the whims of an exchange that seems to be withholding user funds without justification.