Bitsane, a cryptocurrency exchange that rose to fame after being promoted on media outlets as a platform to buy XRP, has recently pulled an exit scam on its over 246,000 users, potentially stealing millions.
According to Forbes, the Irish-based cryptocurrency exchange disappeared without a trace last week, and its social media accounts have been taken down. Account holders told the news outlet attempts to withdraw cryptocurrency started failing in May, with Bitsane claiming at the time withdrawals were disabled temporarily for “technical reasons.”
The website and its social media accounts were taken down on June 17, and emails to Bitsane started being returned as undeliverable, Forbes reports. Most of the scam’s victims claim to have lost up to $5,000 worth of cryptocurrency, although one user claimed to have lost $150,000 worth of XRP and BTC it had on Bitsane.
The user was quoted as saying:
I was trying to transfer XRP out to bitcoin or cash or anything, and it kept saying ‘temporarily disabled. I knew right away there was some kind of problem. I went back in to try to look at those tickets to see if they were still pending, and you could no longer access Bitsane.
Bitsane’s website, according to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, claims the exchange had 246,000 users as of May 30 of this year. The exchange itself reportedly traded around $7 million worth of crypto as of March 31.
Bitsane Recommended to Buy XRP
Notably, the cryptocurrency exchange was recommended by CNBC on a report on “how to buy XRP, one of the hottest bitcoin competitors.” The report explained how to buy bitcoin and ether from San Francisco-based exchange Coinbase, to then transfer it to Bitsane and buy XRP.
Forbes claims that three of the five victims it spoke to heard about the exchange through the CNBC report, although at one point Bitsane was listed as an exchange to buy XRP on Ripple’s own website.
The exchange was launched back in November of 2016, but it reportedly gained most of its users in the 2017 bull run and in 2018. The company filed for dissolution in May of this year, and some of the victims have already report the situation to the FBI.