Romanian bitcoin exchange BTCxChange, which has suffered problems since its launch in 2014, has once again announced its closing, having recently informed customers that it will close on May 1, 2018.
A notice dated April 22 from the BTCxChange team on the exchange website told customers to withdraw all balances before May 1. BTCxChange stopped operations on Feb. 1, the notice said, but customers were still able to stock bitcoins on the platform.
An email CCN sent to the exchange today for further comment was not returned at the time of this report.
Problems From The Start
BTCxChange first urged users to withdraw their funds by Dec. 19, 2014 after accusing its lead programmer of holding is servers hostage. The notice said the exchange had lost all access to its bitcoin exchange servers.
The exchange closed its operations nearly a month after putting itself up for sale on Aug. 18, 2016. Horea Oradea Vuscan, the owner at the time, sent emails to customers on Sept. 4 asking them to withdraw funds, followed by a similar email on Sept. 9.
Exchange Relaunched In 2016
On Nov. 14, 2016, the service was relaunched under new ownership, according to a letter posted on the website by CEO Max Nicula. In his letter, Nicula said the platform had undergone two major updates to improve the user experience, safety and quality.
On Jan. 22, 2018, Nicula announced receiving a letter from Idea Bank that BTCxChange’s bank accounts would be closed within 15 days. This marked the fourth bank account closed for the exchange in 12 months.
“Some time ago we have taken the decision that we will not seek new bank accounts in case these ones are shut down, reason being that the constant bank account changes and lack of permanent stable solutions prevents us from developing our business with the speed we want,” Nicula wrote.
Nicula asked users to withdraw fiat balances (RON, EUR and USD) by Feb. 1, 2018, and that all remaining fiat balances would be converted to bitcoin. The exchange tried to develop a new type of service without ties to the banking system, Nicula stated.
To improve volumes, the exchange needed to make fee reductions, an API launch and “substantial investments” in marketing, Nicula noted. These actions required sacrificing short-term profit.
Making these sacrifices made no sense, however, due to having no trust in the long-term stability of its banking solutions, Nicula noted.
CEO Hopeful For The Future
Nicula was hopeful for cryptocurrency in general.
“It is precisely the belief in bitcoin and the crypto space in general that makes the decision of not looking for alternative banking solutions so easy for us,” he wrote. He added that the bank is no longer a service provider but a privilege that can be taken away at any time.
He encouraged entrepreneurs to enter the crypto space, to seek opportunities to add value and avoid partnerships with the banking system. “The crypto economy offers ample opportunities to conduct deterministic business and agreements, free of subjectivism and multiple interpretations, without shortsighted and counterproductive lawmaking,” he noted.
“I will end this message with a thanks to all the customers that have used our services and hope to leave a positive impression behind,” Nicula concluded.
The notice included a list of services for converting fiat to cryptocurrencies: localbitcoins.com and bitcoinromania.ro in Romania and kraken.com and bitstamp.net in Europe.
Featured image from Shutterstock.