Will HitBTC Repeat Mt. Gox’s Fate?

HitBTC, a known Top 20 crypto exchange has been around from 2013, and during that has earned a reputation as the most fraudulent exchange after the late Mt. Gox.

Simply Google “hitbtc scam” or “hitbtc fraud”and you will find hundred of pages a scam reports how they stole money from innocent crypto traders.

But this is not the story we will be looking at now. Today we will talk about how desperately HitBTC is trying to recruit ICOs to get listed on HitBTC.

Pushy listing services

HitBTC is actively pitching their listing service to ICOs by contacting them in person. This is actually weird, as other top crypto exchanges never do that. You don’t see Binance hunting for tokens, it’s always the other way around. The price for listing may vary, but it’s around 40 BTC, which is quite high, for the exchange that does not even accept USA citizens.

Something is not right with their pushy strategy and it can be sensed. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact, that large amount of users are having problems with withdrawing they funds may be caused by the lack of money and/or an exit scam they are planning. Perhaps HitBTC is trying to desperately raise as much money as possible top safe itself from bankrupcy?

You may need to provide a blood sample to withdraw Bitcoin from HitBTC - Cryptoline News

“Intergation”

You don’t get listed on HitBTC, it’s called “integration”. Also there will be no agreement or any official contract between you and HitBTC. You just simple pay to them and they “integrate” your token on their exchange.

Of course even an idiot will understand that this is done solely to protect their legal interest and so that they could terminate the “integration” any time they want without any legal consequences.

KYC

In order to get listed on HitBTC half of the team is required to send a photo of them holding their ID in front of the computer screen with the email from HitBTC on it.

This could be normal, if there was an official contract and if HitBTC would also at least provide printout from company registry and ID of their director, which they don’t.

Like many other dishonest companies HitBTC does a hard work of hiding their true identity and you are in contact only with low level employees.

True Identity of HitBTC?

On HitBTC website they claim to be registered under the name of:

Hit Solution LimitedUnit 19, 7/F., One Midtown №11 Hoi Shing Road, Tsuen Wan, New Territories, Hong Kong

And to have an office in:

Av Vitacura 2969, Las Condes, Región Metropolitana, Chile

However on the invoices they have other company details:

Hit Tech Solutions Development Ltd.Suite 15, Oliaji Trade Centre, Francis RachelStreet, Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles

But if you go digging a bit deeper, more interesting information is found.

HitBTC Freezes Customer's Account for Months, Apologises After Exposure | Finance Magnates

According to Digiconomist, neither the location of its headquarters nor the identity of its owners can be confirmed. The review site points to another owner of the exchange, a Danish company called Ullus Corporations K/S, which was actually dissolved in February 2015.

Fraud Risk Assessment: HitBTC - Digiconomist

Same information about Ullus Corporation is also found on Bitcoin Wiki page.

So what is this Ullus Corporation?

Apparently it’s the same company that later opened German Fidor Bank. And Andrey Savchenko seems to be the key person of it.

Andrey and HitBTC are also connected to another scam exchange called KuCoin.

There are also rumors that people of HitBTC are behind ICO Bench, however there’s no any credible physical proof of that at this point.

Conclusion

Generally the situation of HitBTC does not look good. It is possible that HitBTC will repeat the late Mt. Gox’s fate by closing down and withholding clients funds. It surely seems that they have been into financial problems for quite a while, but have managed to stay on the surface but delaying withdraws, just like Mt. Gox did. A massive panic with waves of withdraws could bring HitBTC to an end.

(Editor’s Note: Opinions of the author are not an endorsement by Hacker Noon)

Will HitBTC Repeat Mt. Gox’s Fate? was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Publication date: 
05/22/2019 - 11:01
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