Another major cryptocurrency exchange has gone dark, and bitcoin traders once again fear that it is using “maintenance” to cover up a crippling hack.
This time, the medal goes to CoinBene, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges according to CoinMarketCap.com. Per self-reported data, the platform enjoys over $780 million in daily trades through assorted cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, bitcoin cash, litecoin, and monero.
Somebody doubt CoinBene was attacked by hacker recently because our maintenance.
We CoinBene are so sorry that made everyone worried for this problem.
Truth is 👇 pic.twitter.com/2P8Ulwjj6C
— CoinBene Global (@CoinBene) March 27, 2019
Is CoinBene Trying to Cover a Hack?
When services were down, and users began noticing extended delays while withdrawing and depositing funds, they instantly feared the worst. Thoughts that the company had somehow been exploited or potentially compromised by a cyberattack caused many to reach out for help, though executives initially claimed that the slow service was the result of “maintenance.”
In an official announcement, the exchange told its customers:
User assets on the CoinBene platform are 100 percent secure. Our platform promises that if any user assets will be lost, we will compensate 100 percent [sic]. […] The CoinBene security team monitors any anomalies at all times and will issue a warning the first time to prevent any possible risks.
Unfortunately, this news isn’t swaying everyone, as analysts are alleging the company has incurred losses of nearly $45 million due to a possible malicious attack. Some are suggesting that roughly $6 million was stolen in CoinBene Coin, while $39 million was stolen in Maximine Coin. The funds are also alleged to have been dumped on the market.
Deposits and withdrawals are suspended.
— Nick Schteringard (@schteringard) March 26, 2019
Hacks Are as Common as Maintenance
If this is an example of a cryptocurrency exchange hiding behind a general maintenance facade, we can probably assume it won’t be the last. Other moments that come to mind include one surrounding Cryptopia, a New Zealand exchange that recently reported an unknown, but “significant” amount of crypto losses thanks to a cyberattack. The company went offline for several days, citing “maintenance” as the reason why. News later came of the hack and of the police investigation that was underway.
— Cryptopia Exchange (@Cryptopia_NZ) January 15, 2019
We’re also reminded of QuadrigaCX. The Canadian exchange was recently marred by news of the sudden death of its founder Gerald Cotten in India. Another story hit home when it was announced that $145 million was ultimately missing from clients’ accounts, as Cotten was the only executive with access to account information. In January of this year, acting CEO Aaron Matthews announced that he was working to reimburse customers’ money as quickly as possible.
Two weeks later, the site went dark for “maintenance” issues. At that time, funds still had not been paid back. QuadrigaCX later filed for creditor protection and garnered 30-day protection from lawsuits with the help of a Canadian court.