BitForex alleged $2.5 billion volume flatlines as exchange abruptly goes offline BitForex alleged $2.5 billion volume flatlines as exchange abruptly goes offline

BitForex alleged $2.5 billion volume flatlines as exchange abruptly goes offline

Users of the exchange have been unable to access funds or customer support for 3 days.

BitForex alleged $2.5 billion volume flatlines as exchange abruptly goes offline

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate. Image includes combined content which may include AI-generated content.

Hong Kong-based crypto exchange BitForex appears to have gone entirely dark following the suspension of its website and trading application on Feb 23. Users have been unable to initiate withdrawals or access the exchange for several days, which boasted over $2 billion in trading volume as recently as Feb 24.

Data from CoinGecko shows trading volume decreasing from $2.5 billion to $1 billion between Feb 22 and Feb 24 before flatlining. However, normalized data suggests the exchange may have inflated its volumes by up to 100 times. The normalized data is where “web traffic statistics are considered when considering the trading volume,” which was reported at just $25 million for Feb 22.

Bitforex exchange trading volume (Source: CoinGecko)
Bitforex exchange trading volume (Source: CoinGecko)

On Feb 23, crypto investigator ZachXBT reported outflows of approximately $56.5 million from BitForex’s hot wallets. Withdrawals subsequently ceased without official communication from the exchange. Further analysis of Bitforex’s holdings raises flags. The exchange possesses a significant portion of TRB and OMI token supplies, specifically 18% of TRB and 7% of OMI.

As users seek answers via platforms like Telegram, the timing of the company’s CEO stepping down a month ago raises additional suspicion. On Jan 31, CEO Jason Luo stated,

“Today, I have decided to step down from the position of CEO, but my heart remains deeply rooted in the BitForex family. A new leadership team is poised to take the reins, and I believe they will guide BitForex towards even greater horizons. I will continue contributing my wisdom and strength to BitForex because this is my eternal commitment to this home.”

The abrupt leadership change at BitForex, in conjunction with the recent events, now casts extreme doubt on the company’s stability.

On-chain activity for the exchange’s native BF token has been limited, with roughly $2,000 moved within the past 11 days. The last update to CoinmarketCap’s data for the exchange was over 65 hours ago, showing around $280 and $175 million in Ethereum and Bitcoin trading volume, respectively.

The exchange’s X account has had no activity since Feb 21, when it posted, “What are the top encryption projects in 2024?🤔.”

A security ‘CCC’ rating by Certified suggests the exchange had an insurance policy, but no specific details are available.

Bitforex certification (Source Certified)
Bitforex certification (Source Certified)

The company’s official Telegram channel continues to run without any activity from admins. One admin, referred to as Hazel_BitForex, has deleted their account. Other admins have not replied to any posts since at least Feb 21 as of press time. The group, with 23,413 members, currently has over 1,000 users online awaiting a response from the exchange.

Data available at this stage suggests a dark reality for BitForex users. The lack of communication across several platforms, such as its website, X, and Telegram accounts, means users with funds stuck on the exchange may have just reason to worry.