Polish Crypto Exchange Bitmarket Unexpectedly Shuts Down

Bitmarket, the Polish cryptocurrency exchange which started operating in 2014, stopped all operations without warning earlier this week. The exchange cited ‘loss of liquidity’ as the reason for its shutdown but declined to provide any further information, including what will to happen to funds in user exchange wallets.

According to the message currently displayed on its website, Bitmarket – said to have been Poland’s second-largest crypto exchange – stated:

“We regret to inform you that due to the loss of liquidity, [from] 08/07/2019, Bitmarket.pl/net was forced to cease its operations. We will inform you about further steps.”

It’s still not clear exactly what caused the “loss of liquidity,” but a follow-up Reddit post suggested that the exchange had been exhibiting strange behavior in the weeks prior to the closure.

A Redditor with the username Odobanks talked of “red flags”, including users being forced to change their passwords without explanation, and had their API keys changed as well. Users that wanted to withdraw their crypto had their withdrawals halted over unusual know-your-customer procedures, including having to upload accepted means of identification. Along with the ID, they were also required to submit a picture of themselves holding the identification plus a note stating that the crypto they were purchasing on the platform was a “personal investment.”

At the time all of this was happening, a number of Bitmarket representatives were working to allay their fears across various Polish cryptocurrency forums. These representatives claimed only people whose KYC had not been completed were temporarily suspended from making transactions. They also avoided addressing accusations from users that the exchange had been hacked.

There have been no comments from the exchange on whether the site has been hacked.  Several crypto publications including Coindesk have contacted BITMARKET to confirm details of the closure and the situation regarding users’ funds. Updates are pending.

At present, Bitmarket’s Twitter account had no statement on the closure, and its trading data on CoinMarketCap had not been updated for 10 hours.