Bitcoin Exchange Closes After Lead Programmer Holds Servers Hostage

bitcoin exchangeAfter one year of operation, the Romanian bitcoin exchange known as BTCXChange formerly closed its doors to the public after accusing their lead programmer of holding their servers hostage.

It began on December 16, 2014. The bitcoin exchange hadn’t updated their news section of the website for a few months, but out of the blue they issued a major warning.

“Due to security reasons, we ask all BTCXchange.ro platform users to withdraw all their funds, both FIAT and BTC (Bitcoin), from their platform accounts until December 19th, 2014 and TO TRADE NO MORE.”

The following day, BTCXChange sent out another warning, in bolded and red, asking frantically for all their customers to withdraw their funds from the bitcoin exchange platform. It was at this point they divulged that they had lost access to the bitcoin exchange servers.

On Dec. 19, BTCXChange sent out an apology to customers for inconveniences they underwent in the days prior. BTCXChange claimed they lost access to their servers when their lead programmer, Ivan Lucian Aron (also known as Nophinity/Nopex), refused to hand in his letter of resignation and held the control hostage instead.

“Today, December 19th, 2014, after many discussions, we have to resort to legal institutions even if this choice is not a very fast one. Therefore, until regaining accesses, the BTCXchange and BTCXpay services will not be available.”

“According the fact that both customer funds and business activity are affected, we asked the authorities to intervene swiftly to set up a committee of independent experts who will determine the potential abuses of our former colleague.”

The bitcoin exchange then assured their customers that there was no risk of insolvency, a common claim that followed the downfall of Mt.Gox, and requested a multitude of controls back from Aron. They speculated that following the end of January, BTCXChange would be back up and running at full steam.

Also Read: The MtGox Saga: Insolvency, Incompetence, or Bad PR?

The Romanian Bitcoin Exchange Was Wrong

Unfortunately for them, BTCXChange was not able to resume operations in the timeframe they once quoted. In fact, there was complete and utter silence for the entire month of January.

Up until February 9, 2015, BTCXChange was assumed to come back. But they were unable and sent out a message to their prospective customers.

Dear clients,

We would like to inform you that on 11th of february 2015 the BTCXChange servers will be shutdown for an undetermined period.

In case you still have funds on our platform please withdraw them untill this date.

The bitcoin exchange is set to close all operations, and it can be assumed that they were either unable to gain control of their servers or are suffering from PR backlash. They may still be held hostage, but nearly two months have passed. If there is not a public record of a police investigation, then all signs may point to a larger problem.