OKEx temporarily loses access to its private keys and suspends withdrawals

Major exchange OKEx suddenly suspended cryptocurrency withdrawals from its platform. The company has reportedly lost contact with one of the holders of its private keys.

OKEx stopped

The OKEx platform explains this maneuver in a press release , where it claims that one of the holders of its private keys is currently cooperating with a public security office in the context of several investigations.

“One of our private key holders is currently cooperating with a public security bureau on investigations. We have lost contact with the holder of the private key concerned. “

For an indefinite period and for safety reasons, withdrawals of any cryptocurrency on OKEx have therefore been deactivated .

While a wave of panic quickly spread among Bitcoin Bank users, the platform ensured that all other features remain operational and funds are not affected in any way .

According to Jay Hao , CEO of OKEx, the authorities‘ ongoing investigation only concerns the personal situation of the said private key holder

Despite these reassuring comments, certain facts seem rather worrying. The Whale Alert Twitter bot, which references large cryptocurrency transactions, has identified several from and to OKEx.

In the hours leading up to the suspension of OKEx withdrawals, nearly $ 15 million was withdrawn from the platform, or 1,180 BTC and 50 million TRX :

At the moment, it is not yet possible to ensure that these transactions have any connection with the OKEx pause, but they are suspect in the eyes of many members of the crypto-community.

The market reaction was not long in coming

Directly after the OKEx announcement, Bitcoin’s price fell 2.5% from $ 11,500 to $ 11,200 within minutes. As of this writing, BTC has already made up 50% of that slight drop, and is trading around $ 11,350.

According to data from CoinGecko , OKEx is the leader of the exchanges for the volume of cryptocurrency derivatives, and is second behind Binance for spot trading. This may explain the sharp reaction of Bitcoin to the news, even though the loss was made up very quickly.

However, the situation is quite different for the OKB, the OKEx utility token. For the latter, the fall was much more meteoric, although it remains fairly measured vis-à-vis the situation.

The token thus fell by nearly 16% in the space of 20 minutes, going from $ 5.7 to $ 4.8 before rising back to around $ 5.2:

In recent weeks, the cryptocurrency exchange platform sector has been particularly hectic. Last month, the KuCoin exchange was notably the target of a significant hack of more than 150 million dollars , completely paralyzing the platform for several weeks.

Earlier this month, BitMEX was accused by a US regulator of violating anti-money laundering regulations, and iconic Arthus Hayes even stepped down as CEO of this historic platform.

Unlike its competitors, OKEx does not yet appear to have been the target of any attack, whether by hackers or regulatory bodies. Further information will be shared by the platform regarding this suspension of withdrawals.