Polish Crypto Exchange Bitmarket Suddenly Pulls the Plug with no Explanation

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According to reports from CoinDesk, Poland’s second-largest exchange, Bitmarket, announced on July 8, 2019, that it ceased operations due to a lack of liquidity.

Ghost Exchange

Visiting the bitmarket.pl site, a short message in both Polish and English states:

“Dear Users,
We regret to inform you that due to the loss of liquidity, since 08/07/2019, Bitmarket.pl/net was forced to cease its operations. We will inform you about further steps.”

According to CoinMarketCap, the last volume registered on the exchange was around $850,000 during the day in the following pairs BTC/PLN, LTC/PLN, ETH/PLN, BTC/EUR, XRP/PLN, and BTG/PLN.

Although it was one of the longest-running Polish exchanges, over the last few weeks there had been several alarm bells highlighted by the Reddit user u/OdoBanks.

According to his post, some users were forced to change their passwords with no exact reason, users’ API keys were changed, and withdrawals were halted on the basis of additional KYC requirements. In particular, the exchange demanded:

  • A scan of the ID, front and back.

  • A photo of a user’s face, holding the ID and a note confirming that they are using Bitmarket to buy bitcoin for themselves as an investment (a new requirement that before was not necessary).

While it’s not clear exactly what caused the “loss of liquidity,” a report  from IQ Partners S.A., one of the exchange’s shareholders, states that on July 7, 2019, the consortium of IQ partners SA Management received from the Chairman of the Board of Gyptrade OU information regarding the risk of closing the cryptocurrency exchange Bitmarket. The report cites the inability to settle liabilities by the exchange operator, Kvadratco Services Limited (United Kingdom), as the primary reason.

The notice continues that at this point they cannot verify the probability of this event, but if this risk materializes, Gyptrade OU will not be able to sustain Bitmarket operations and thus the latter will be forced to close.

At the time of press, there is no other information on the subject. Bitmarket’s Twitter account has expressed no opinion and does not appear to have been active since July 8, 2019. It seems that Bitmarket will be added to the list of Polish exchanges that closed shop along with Coinbe, Abucoins, Coinroom, and Bitcurex.

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