Jackson Wong, an independent journalist, recently stated in a Medium post that cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin’s Hong Kong office lies empty. Wong noted the exchange’s office appeared to merely be a “virtual address.”
The Hong Kong resident cited his colleagues’ concerns, as they were “extremely worried” over the large amount of digital currency on KuCoin’s platform. It could all become inaccessible if Chinese authorities launch another crackdown.
Wong further stated the exchange may have “survived the hit [so far] by staying under the radar.” However, he pointed out that the KuCoin Shares (KCS) token has dropped considerably from its all-time high of $20, and i now trading at $1.71, according to data from CryptoCompare.
"Extremely Cautious About Depositing Money"
In his detailed blog post, the crypto investor also warned users should be “extremely cautious about depositing money into this exchange” as nobody appears to be working at its Hong Kong office.
Wong revealed that KuCoin was “home-grown” in Hong Kong, but its trading platform has “always been very suspicious to [him].” The journalist added that it seemed nobody had even heard of KuCoin “within the Hong Kong community.”
Moreover, Wong said the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (SFC) would have cracked down on their crypto trading business, as the exchange did not appear to have a license to operate in the autonomous territory.
According to the crypto investor, there are no reports of KuCoin being investigated in Hong Kong, and there are no local news reports or promotional ads about the exchange.
“Nobody” At KuCoin’s Hong Kong Office
Wong’s investigation also revealed that none of KuCoin’s board of directors had Hong Kong names or passports, and they were all based outside of the autonomous region. For a company’s employees to legally work in Hong Kong, a working visa is required if they don’t hold an official passport or resident permit, he noted.
Wong claims that as part of his investigation, he visited KuCoin’s registered Hong Kong office. When he arrived at the building where it was supposed to be, there were no KuCoin signs or anything related to the exchange posted on the building’s directory.
Notably, KuCoin has registered its company as Smart Team Secretarial Ltd. in Hong Kong. A staff member working at a firm on the same floor as the exchange’s office told Wong they had never really heard anything about Smart Team, KuCoin, or even cryptocurrencies.
"Absolutely No Recourse" In Case Of Exit Scam
Wong also said that it would not be possible for KuCoin to have an office elsewhere in Hong Kong, considering none of its employees seem to have Hong Kong ID cards or passports. He added the exchange’s workers are employed in Sichuan, China and that “Chinese nationals can’t just come in and out without a permit.”
This can pose serious risk, according to Wong, as it would be possible for KuCoin to pull an exit scam that would leave its users “absolutely no recourse,” Wong warned.
The journalist posted an update via his Twitter account noting that just one day after he published his Medium post, the exchange’s official Twitter account was restricted.
One day after an article about KuCoin lying about its office / headquarters was released, KuCoin's Twitter account is restricted.— Joseph Young (@iamjosephyoung) August 12, 2018
KuCoin has an active user base and following. I think its investors deserve to hear from KuCoin and its execs.https://t.co/Vu1ou0U6iy
"Merely" A Mailing Address
However, KuCoin did respond to Wong’s post via its official website, in which it explained the company’s public address in Hong Kong “is merely a mailing address of one of KuCoin’s many subsidiary companies.”
The exchange added that its headquarters are in Singapore, and that it has over 300 employees working out of other “major” offices located in Thailand, the Philippines, and China. Despite seemingly not having anything to hide, KuCoin’s official Twitter account is, at press time, temporarily restricted.