The well-known OKEx crypto exchange announced today that it has temporarily suspended withdrawals.
The official note explains that they have decided to suspend withdrawals of digital assets and cryptocurrencies from 11:00 GMT+8 on October 16th, 2020:
“to act in the best interests of customers and deliver exceptional longtime customer service”.
The decision would be linked to an issue concerning one of their private key holders who is working with a public security office in an unspecified investigation.
Not being in direct contact with the holder of these keys,
“the associated authorization could not be completed”.
Citing the terms of service of the exchange, OKEx may discontinue, suspend or terminate the service at any time without notice.
OKEx, suspended withdrawals and ongoing investigations
All operations @OKEx except digital asset/cryptocurrency withdrawals remain unaffected.
All your funds and assets are safe.
The investigation concerns a certain private key holder’s personal issue only. Further announcements will be made.
— Jay_OKEX_CEO (@JayHao8) October 16, 2020
For now, nothing else is known, not even when withdrawals may be reactivated, but all other activities on the platform are operational, including fiat currency withdrawals.
It therefore appears that this is not a problem linked to a platform hack, but to an ongoing investigation into an unidentified “private key holder” whose nature of the relationship with OKEx is unknown.
After the announcement, the price of bitcoin on OKEx fell by 3% in 30 minutes to below $11,200 and then bounced back almost immediately to $11,300.
In light of the known information, it is possible to imagine that this is not a technical problem, and that the funds are safe, although frozen. However, since it is a legal issue, its solution, or at least the release of the funds, may not be immediate.