Bitcoin Exchange Suffers Trader Backlash Months After Suspicious ‘Fire’

Journalist:
P. H. Madore @bitillionaire
April 25, 2019

By CCN: A crypto trader provided CCN with documents proving that he has lost around 43 Ether all told after depositing it on BiteBTC on Christmas Eve. As we previously reported, the Bitcoin exchange claimed a fire wrecked its servers, but the exchange claimed crypto wallets were safe.

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire

Nearly every tweet sent by the exchange is answered with multiple complaints about deposit and withdrawal issues. The following is an example, which allegedly shows BiteBTC harassing a complaining user:

Our tipster contacted BiteBTC after the fire and was told his account would be restored. He provided the requested information, but they wrote him off as someone attempting a double-spend and have refused to respond to any further inquiries. Given that we have seen proof of the user’s claims, this makes the story that “wallets are safe” seem relatively far from the truth.

Here is a screenshot of the user’s account, which was never credited back with the lost Ethereum:

BiteBTC told this user that his details were invalid, despite blockchain proof, and has never responded further.

The user can prove that he deposited using the Ethereum blockchain. BiteBTC announced it would be crediting user accounts in February. If you look at the Etherscan records, it shows that the user received 42.98 ETH and then sent it to BiteBTC. There may be some confusion about which transaction credited the BiteBTC account, but the result is the same: the user proved it was his account, proved that he sent the deposit, and has never received his money back.

Bitcoin Exchange Changes Hands With Little Official Notice

BiteBTC reportedly changed hands since January, now being held by a company called First Finance.

There’s little actual information about this change in ownership. So many things about this crypto exchange are suspicious at this point. Let’s recap:

  • BiteBTC had a fire the very same day that Bitcoin users were encouraged to withdraw all their funds from exchanges.
  • They’ve never proven there was a real fire.
  • BiteBTC claims they’ve made users whole, but users claim otherwise.
  • Several users complain via Twitter that they’ve never gotten their money back.
  • The exchange’s customer service team is allegedly abusive to clients.
  • BiteBTC is supposedly under new management, which reads like a way of distancing itself from the exchange’s obligations.
  • Singapore police will not act on behalf of citizens outside Singapore, giving the global exchange a great deal of immunity from prosecution.

On this last point, we were informed by our source, who provided the following printout (which we’ve turned into a screenshot):

The exchange’s business is now apparently based in Seychelles, but at the time of the fire, it was based in Singapore.

It’s one thing to have a real catastrophe that compromises your user database but doesn’t lose their funds. It’s entirely another to use the opportunity to keep funds out of their rightful owners’ hands. The source in question had traded his Ethereum into Bitcoin and would have preferred to receive that, as the price of Bitcoin has appreciated significantly over Ethereum.

However, to date, he’s received nothing. Just this morning he wrote in that he has not received any response from BiteBTC since his initial contact with them. At a minimum, this is a poor customer service model. At most, it’s an ongoing scam.

We’ve reached out to BiteBTC for comment on this article.

Last modified (UTC): April 25, 2019 15:30

P. H. Madore @bitillionaire

P. H. Madore has written for CCN since 2014. Please send breaking news tips or requests for investigation to bitillionaire+phm@gmail.com. He lives in Maine, USA. A single father of four young children, he does not discourage financial donations, provided they do not come with strings attached.