HitBTC, a controversial cryptocurrency exchange, is once again under fire as one Redditor claims it’s holdings his funds hostage while demanding he verifies his social media accounts, even after proving information regarding his identity.
According to Reddit user Allomancer_Jak, the cryptocurrency exchange is currently holding his funds hostage, even though he attempted to verify his identity with the exchange by sending a photo of himself and his passport in front of an email from HitBTC’s security team.
When this wasn’t good enough for the exchange, the Redditor added, he included proof of his residency and his bank statement in the documents sent to the cryptocurrency exchange, but to no avail.
In its most recent demands, the exchange is asking the user to log in to the platform without using a virtual private network (VPN) – which may allow it to record where he is logging in from. It further asked him to provide information on the origin of deposited funds. The message HitBTC send the user reads:
For your convenience, the origin of funds report may be presented in a free form as a chain of events in chronological order, every step validated with blockchain explorer data, screenshots, and data used on other crypto infrastructure services, so that we would be able to contact them for verification, if needed.
It added that the user should send over links of his social media accounts, presumably to verify he has an online presence.
In addition, kindly update us with the data regarding your social networks presence, i.e. the links to your profile in major social networks.
These demands came after the user sent over Coinbase transaction records that he purchased his BTC with fiat currency on the platform. Tracing the path of his funds through the blockchain could be extremely hard or nearly impossible.
As various users commenting on the Reddit post noted, anyone could impersonate Allomancer_Jak on social media. Some believe HitBTC, along with other companies associated with it, are selectively scamming, meaning they pick specific targets to scam while operating as legitimate organizations.
Searching for complaints online against the exchange leads to a plethora of results, which implies something is indeed going on. As CryptoGlobe covered, eccentric cybersecurity pioneer John McAfee even launched a campaign against it earlier this year.
McAfee’s campaign, however, was likely motivated by HitBTC’s withdrawals fees on a project the bitcoin bull invested in. The cybersecurity expert accused HitBTC of being liable for the “death of untold people,” over a lack of support for Docademic (MTC), a project that claims to offer users free health care services.
I have sent eleven empassioned letters to .@hitbtc and recieved only one response. Is it our fault? CEO of Docademic, Mr. Charles Nader warned the CEO of Hitbtc three months prior to these unecessary deaths. You tell me sir, who is responsible?
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) July 2, 2018
The cryptocurrency exchange recently barred Japanese users from its platforms, as it’s set to launch a licensed subsidiary in the country in Q3 this year.