On October 16th one of the major cryptocurrency exchanges, Bittrex, has disabled many accounts without any explanations, save for this vague message:
Bittrex representatives are only urging the victims to contact support, but the company did not tweet much right after the accounts were disabled:
There have been reports that Bittrex are banning people asking for help from their Slack channel.
There is another strange pattern that was observed @ the Cryptosyndicate blog (http://thecryptosyndicate.com/opinion-bittrex-anomaly/)
“It has been one very convoluted morning. A large number of alts found themselves in the gutter within the last 24hrs, and very little of the volume was seen moving to BTC as we all expected. The usual pattern during the last BTC hard fork found traders pulling out of alt coins and parking their monetary values into BTC, yet today has been an exception. There hasn’t been a solid reason that gives a clear explanation, but the team at The CryptoSyndicate Research Lab has a lead.
Basically, every single cryptocurrency (alts) listed on Bittrex has fallen in a very similar pattern in relation to one another. Not every coin, but coins that are listed on Bittrex. Between the hours of 1200 and 0900 at UTC-4 on 8th October 2017, a large number of alts experienced a mass dump executed within minutes of each other. Coincidence? We’ll let the charts speak for us.”
Users have taken their complaints to social media and we can see the magnitude of account blocks – as well as the awkward silence from Bittrex reps:
There have been reports that mostly Iranian, Russian, Syrian and Egyptian accounts got disabled. Could this be because users from these countries are unlikely to pursue legal action against Bittrex, so that they can
I talked to many users, here’s the most affected:India, Syria, Iran, Russia and Egypt— !سان آو اِ هیچ (@SonOfAHiiitch) October 14, 2017
Statement on closed accounts
The statement that Bittrex released basically says the following: “less than 0.1% of all accounts got disabled or banned. no big deal”. If you’re fine with that happening any moment – Bittrex is your exchange.
In addition, they’ve stated that “Any reports that Bittrex miscalculated or misapplied its exchange fees, that there is a security problem with the exchange, that Bittrex lost any coins stored on users’ behalf, or that Bittrex is banning people trying to access Slack to discuss the status of their accounts are incorrect.”
That really gives us a lot of new ideas on what could’ve actually happened. It’s basically something they mentioned.
What to do
If you have an account on Bittrex and it’s not disabled – withdraw your coins and move to another exchange.
Nope, you have to give them your name, address and DOB before withdrawing any amount of Bitcoin: