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亚马逊云账号(www.2km.me)_Hong Kong crypto exchange allegedly hit by frozen funds

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Uproar: An illustration of binance, the worlds biggest crypto exchange. There are calls for broader regulatory oversight in Hong Kong. — Reuters

HONG KONG: Customers of a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange say they can’t withdraw money or tokens from the bourse, and at least seven have reported the matter to police.

Dozens of clients have been unable to make withdrawals from Coinsuper since late November, based on a review of messages on the firm’s official Telegram chat. Five customers told Bloomberg News that they’d filed police reports after withdrawals were apparently frozen, leaving them unable to retrieve about a combined US$55,000 (RM231,073) of tokens and cash.

The uproar around Coinsuper, backed by Pantera Capital, may fuel calls for broader regulatory oversight in Hong Kong. The head of the city’s securities watchdog in November 2020 said it would propose a licensing regime for all crypto-trading platforms, an approach rival financial hub Singapore is also pursuing.

Coinsuper executives didn’t respond to calls and messages seeking comment. In response to a Bloomberg inquiry about the Coinsuper complaints, a Hong Kong police spokesperson said by email that it’s investigating one case where a person who bought cryptocurrency “via an investment company” was unable to withdraw her funds since December.

In Coinsuper’s Telegram chat, the administrator stopped responding to queries about failed withdrawals in late November, then resurfaced in the past week to ask affected users to provide their email addresses. Some clients said in interviews that there was no follow-up after doing so, and the administrator didn’t respond to messages from Bloomberg.

Terry Chan, who works in the city’s financial industry, started using the platform in November 2020 because it was “quite large in Hong Kong” at the time. He tried to withdraw US$4,000 (RM16,804) from the exchange in early December after noticing that trading there was becoming less liquid. On Jan 5, he filed a group complaint to Hong Kong police together with two other affected Coinsuper clients.

Coinsuper’s trading app remains operative, and the exchange handled around US$18.5mil (RM77mil) of volume on Friday – down from a daily peak of US$1.3bil in late 2019, according to crypto data firm Nomics. Binance, the biggest crypto exchange, handled about US$51bil (RM5.46bil) of transactions over the same time period, Nomics data showed.

Hong Kong uses a so-called “opt-in” regulatory regime for crypto exchanges, meaning they can apply to be regulated. But stringent regulations means it’s “not very attractive” for platforms to pursue that route, said Joshua Chu, a consultant at ONC Lawyers in Hong Kong.

The city will likely move away from the opt-in model sometime this year, according to Chu. He added that it’s “not uncommon” for crypto exchanges to face problems including long withdrawal times, highlighting that regulation might be needed for issues that are technical in nature.

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