Coinbin, a leading South Korean digital assets exchange and cryptocurrency trading venue, has filed for bankruptcy with the Korean authorities, claiming that an employee has stolen a whopping 29.3 billion won (about $26 million) from its coffers, according to a local news source, Business Korea on February 22, 2019.
Coinbin Exchange Sees Red
At a time when a significant number of bitcoin-linked businesses are shutting down operations due to unfavorable market condition, the case of South Korea’s Coinbin exchange appears to be entirely different.
Per sources close to the matter, the exchange is planning to file for bankruptcy with the nation’s financial authorities, as it can no longer continue normal operations.
Interestingly, Coinbin has revealed to local sources that one of its top executives has stolen roughly 29.3 billion Korean won ($26 million) from its vaults, making it impossible for the firm to function optimally.
Commenting on the sad development, Park Chan-kyu, CEO of Coinbin, reportedly said that:
“We are looking to file for bankruptcy due to a rise in debt brought about by an employee’s embezzlement.”
Accordingly, the firm is said to have put all cryptocurrency and cash withdrawals on hold since February 20, 2019, and will soon begin settling users under local bankruptcy procedures.
Who Stole the Cryptos?
Although specific names were not mentioned, Park has however hinted that the perpetrator of the crime, once functioned as the CEO of Youbit, the crypto exchange reportedly acquired by Coinbin after the former suffered a hack of 17 billion won in 2017.
According to Coinbin, the missing 29.3 billion won also includes the funds which had been set aside for the compensation of former members of Youbit exchange.
The executive, whose duties includes managing cryptocurrencies at Coinbin, reportedly claimed to have misplaced the private keys to the firm’s cryptocurrency wallets containing hundreds of bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH).
However, Park strongly believes that those claims are far from the truth, as the executive is a seasoned crypto expert.
It’s worth noting that this is not the first time that top executives at crypto exchanges are being called out for fraudulent activities.
In May 2018, BTCManager informed that investigators from the Korean Financial Intelligence Unit (KIU) and the Financial Services Commission (FSC) had raided the premises of UPbit cryptocurrency exchange due to suspicious trading activities carried out by executives of the firm.