The second largest cryptocurrency exchange of Poland, BitMarket shut down on July 8th, citing liquidity loss as the reason. They put up the following message on their official website late that day:
“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.”
The exchange used to experience an average trading volume of $850,000 per day. Trading pairs on the exchange were demoted against the Polish zloty (PLN) and they appeared as BTC/PLN, ETH/PLN, XRP/PLN and BTG/PLN and, BTC/EUR. In spite of the shutdown, some users are reportedly still continuing trade using their API keys.
Some reports suggest that stakeholders involved in business with the exchange had prior knowledge of a possible shutdown. One of the stakeholders, IQ Partners S.A., apparently knew about the upcoming the shutdown for at least a day before the announcement was made on the exchange’s website.
A report obtained from IQ partners shows that the company received information from its subsidiary Gyptrade’s managing board stating that BitMarket might soon be looking at a shut down. The documents stated that BitMarket was unable to settle liabilities by its operator, Kvadratco Services Limited.
Gyptrade was supposed to takeover BitMarket and they have since clarified that they will no longer be able to follow through on that. It is also reported that Gyptrade has filed a complaint with prosecutors in the Polish town of Olsztyn against BitMarket. BitMarket has thus been complained of committing fraud.
Although the shutdown may have come as a surprise to many, several Reddit users revealed that there were several signs of the shutdown. One Reddit user pointed out that BitMarket urged its users to change their passwords and API keys and there was no clear explanation given as to why these changes were being made.
The lack of information from BitMarket and the events surrounding its shutdown suggests that there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. The crypto community is hoping that with time, a lot more will come to light, giving a clear picture of the actual reason why the exchange came to a sudden standstill.