Crypto exchange Cryptopia Calls in Liquidators, Suspends Trading


Cryptopia, a New Zealand-based crypto exchange that was hacked in January this year, has appointed liquidators, audit firm Grant Thornton revealed via an official announcement on Wednesday, May 15.

According to the press release statement, the crypto exchange has appointed the consultancy firm’s David Ruscoe and Russell Moore as its liquidators.

The two work with Grant Thornton New Zealand (NZ), a local arm of global professional services and accounting firm Grant Thornton International.

Cryptopia suffered a security breach early January; with the resultant attack causing significant loses to the crypto platform.

Even though the exchange went offline pending investigations, the attackers reportedly continued to siphon funds for another two weeks as the exchange struggled to regain control over its wallets.

The exchange later reopened for but has apparently been struggling to return to profitability. The management team has also found it difficult to cut costs, hence the decision to liquidate.

Grant Thornton NZ notes in its press release that Cryptopia’s decision represents “the best interests of [the exchange’s] customers, staff and other stakeholders.”

As per the announcement, the liquidators are expected to investigate and focus their attention on ways of securing assets for the sake of protecting the interests of all stakeholders. Accordingly, the exchange will cease all trading services as the liquidators swing into action.

David Ruscoe said that they understand the position of Cryptopia customers would be for the matter to be resolved as quickly as possible.

He, therefore, pledged that they will work with various stakeholders to “conduct a thorough investigation.” The aim is to find a solution that suits the interests of all Cryptopia customers.

According to Ruscoe, the liquidators’ work may take a little longer- even months- given the nature of investigations and how complex it likely is to be.

Grant Thornton NZ also reported that the liquidators will look to determine Cryptopia’s obligations. It means that as liquidators, they will work with various independent industry experts as well as other relevant authorities, to come to this conclusion.

The audit firm adds that it will publish the liquidators’ initial report on this matter on the official NZ companies’ website in the next few days.

It has been a long four months for Cryptopia since the security breach in January. In February, blockchain analytics firm Elementus released a report that estimated that the hackers stole about $16 million worth of Ethereum (ETH) plus some ERC-20 tokens.

About $3.2 million was later traced and determined to have been liquidated on a number of exchanges including major crypto exchange Binance, as well as Etherdelta and Bitbox.

Incidentally, Binance too suffered a recent breach that allowed hackers to steal 7,000 bitcoins worth $40 million.

Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.


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