A few hours ahead of the much awaited annual proof of keys event, Cryptocurrency exchange HitBTC has frozen its user accounts. A part of crypto community considers this move as highly unethical and suspicious.
A user PEDXS claimed in Reddit that he had duly completed all of the KYC tests. Still, HitBTC repeatedly denied his request to withdraw his fund from his account. He stated, “After months of sending 40 plus emails, HitBTC finally unfreeze my account.” He added, “I immediately withdrew most of my funds but left a small amount to day trade. I did that because HITBTC promised that “No further automated restrictions will be applied.”
He was also doubtful whether HitBTC is intentionally locking users’ accounts fearing massive coin withdrawals on the annual Proof of Keys event. Proof of Keys event is a movement that asks crypto traders to remove their funds from third party platforms to take control of their private keys on every January 3rd. Its aim is to hold all these third-party services accountable by testing them for their solvency. The movement was started by renowned bitcoin investor Trace Mayer. Mayer has also shown concerns over HitBTC’s move.
Many other users have complained regarding the similar experience. Using the alias LOOKATMYIQ, another Redditor revealed that he too faced withdrawal rejects. He said, “Submitted all my documents/evidence for KYC days ago and now support [is] going cold on me. Have I been scammed? I have been trading crypto for years on all kind of exchanges and never had my funds locked without warning like this. Support [was] fast to respond when asking for additional (over the top) information but since I have given them everything they have asked for they’ve just disappeared on me.”
Additionally, John McAfee, who called on investors and traders to boycott HitBTC in 2018, had also commented, “I warned everyone more than a dozen times. Don’t sign up. Don’t use it. Withdraw your funds. I was trashed for calling out HitBT as a corrupt company. Tough shit. You had six months warning from me to withdraw your funds. Do not ask me to help you now.” Here, HitBTC has yet to respond to accusations of deliberately freezing account withdrawals.