A crypto exchange based in Shanghai, China has halted its services after its CEO went missing with all the cold wallets keys thereby locking it out of business.
International Digital Asset Exchange (IDAX) explained in a short notice that it was halting its services after its CEO went missing without prior notice for the last five days. The notice did not issue the specifications of the CEO nor did it explain the reasons why he vanished.
The exchange also revealed through the notice that it was unable to access its cold wallets which contain almost the entire crypto assets of the exchange. Due to lack of cold wallet keys, the exchange reprimanded its clients from using its services until further notice.
The announcement follows another notice where the company tried to refute claims that its CEO had gone missing with the cold wallet keys. The crypto exchange firm tried to cool down fears by claiming that it was going through maintenance and would resume its services soon. It appears that its effort to reach out to its CEO have been futile leading to the admission of his vanishing.
Previously, on Nov 24th, the exchange had alerted its clients of congestion in both withdrawal and deposits and it was about to quit the Chinese market. Currently, it still remains unknown the amount of crypto assets and funds contained in the exchange’s cold wallets. The firm also explained that the rumors of its intended withdrawal of services from mainland China had created a huge backlog of withdrawals leading to delays in services.
It is still unclear why the anonymous CEO decided to vanish. However, this is a rare occurrence where an exchange’s CEO is given a solitary control and custody of all the cold wallet private keys and traders have not offered custodial promises or a resort.
Currently, the exchange did not suggest any compensation but said its exploring the situation. However, the IDAX case seems more like the QuadrigaCX heist where its CEO also had solitary control and custody of the private keys.
The news has led to IDAX token’s value crashing to zero and has since ceased to trade, CoinDesk reports.