HitBTC, one of the major cryptocurrency exchanges, has gone offline due to a “hardware fault”, according to its post on Twitter. The exchange said it is expecting to resume services in “a maximum of 2 hours”.
“Your funds are safe,” HitBTC promised in the end of the post.
Dear traders, the HitBTC exchange is temporary unavailable from 11:25 UTC due to a hardware fault. We are working on resolving it - please allow maximum 2 hours for full recovery. Your funds are safe.
The last sentence, however, does not sound reassuring enough to some of HitBTC’s clients who are having a field day posting hate comments under the publication. The main reason for the trolling appears to be the recent feud between HitBTC and the “King of Crypto” John McAfee, but there are also references to stories of clients having their accounts frozen for no reason or having trouble withdrawing their funds.
Technical faults are not something unheard of and cryptocurrency exchanges go offline for a number of reasons. Sometimes, as was the case with Binance, the downtime is scheduled, yet it can last longer than planned.
However, very often the reason for sudden downtimes is a hacker attack on the system. In the past several months, there were many cases of hackers stealing significant sums from various crypto exchanges. The most recent were the South Korean major Bithumb, which lost $31 million in June (and recovered about half of it) and Coinrail.
Earlier this year, the world witnessed the largest crypto heist in history so far, with the Japanese exchange Coincheck and its clients “relieved” of coins worth $550 million.
HitBTC is one of the major cryptocurrency exchanges. It was launched in 2013, but its current location and ownership are somewhat murky. It was active mainly in China, until the clampdown of the autumn of 2017, when HitBTC was forced to move to Hong Kong and become more of a global company.