Reports by Anadaolu Agency come after the Turkish Central Bank banned crypto payments
Turkey’s crypto exchange situation
Turkish crypto exchange, Thodex, has reportedly gone offline with its CEO also said to be missing. This comes at a time when users were filing numerous complaints over hundreds of millions of dollars being stolen.
Thodex’s platform reportedly went offline on Wednesday as it was no longer accessible, with an error pop-up on the screen.
Thodex released a statement both on their website and via twitter about the situation stating that Thodex has halted all transactions in order to evaluate an unspecified partnership offer. The process would take about 4-5 business days with users being regularly updated.
Thodex was responsible for trading more than $585million in crypto on its platform, according to CoinMarketCap with over 400k users and 390k classed as active traders.
It was expected that Thodex’s website would be back up as soon as possible, however, many of the crypto exchanges’ executives are deactivating their social media accounts and users are not able to access the customer support group.
In the meantime, Thodex founder and CEO, Fatih Ozer, also shut down his Twitter.
According to Coindesk, a user of Thodex exchange who goes by the name of Mehment, said:
“Average people invest in crypto in Turkey because they would like to hedge their little funds against inflation here. So people will lose a lot of money, me included, and I had to do something about it.”
It is also believed that Ozer managed to flee the country on Tuesday and the Istanblus Anatolian Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation into Thodex on the basis of fraud and potentially being a criminal organisation.
However, these charges have been refuted by the exchange on its website.
Turkey’s new law
The crypto industry was highly unregulated in Turkey but earlier this month, the Turkish Central Bank announced that they will be banning cryptocurrencies as a form of payments. However, crypto trading is still allowed as it has not been affected by the new law which is set to be put into effect at the end of this month. Therefore, Thodex’s sudden departure from the internet seems to be completely unrelated to the new law.
Thodex also released a statement in Turkish stating that transactions have been put on hold due to potential partnerships with confidential parties.
“World-renowned banks and fund companies, whose name we will announce when the agreement process is completed, have been wanting to invest in our company for a long time and have made a partnership proposal. In order to serve you better, it has been decided to evaluate the partnership offer positively. In order for this process to be completed, the transactions must be stopped and the transfer process must be completed.”
Suspicions were raised when a number of traders realised that Thodex were selling dogecoin 30% below the market price. This came at a time when doge coin was experiencing a major pump and many people were investing in the “meme” coin.
A few days later, Thodex announced that they were carrying out maintenance works on dogecoin transactions. At that point, Doge accounted for more than 50% of Thodex’s $585 million trading volume while bitcoin accounted for only $10million.
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