MapleChange is not a big exchange. But its sudden demise after what it is calling a hack – and others are calling an exit scam – is drawing attention.
MapleChange took root in May of this year with trading in three cryptocurrencies: bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ether. Over the course of several months, the exchange listed additional currencies, from the familiar (Monero) to the esoteric (Konon). What it didn't do was make it onto CoinMarketCap's list of exchanges, though on October 21, it reported that its 24-hour trading volume nearly hit $20,000. This was presented as good news. Again, it's not a big exchange.
On October 27, it announced the site would be down for maintenance. The next day, Sunday, it said the maintenance was over. Later that day it tweeted that it had been hacked:
That investigation was over pretty quickly, with MapleChange tweeting just 10 minutes later:
All that was missing was a shrug emoji. Its website was taken down, and the social media accounts went dark, at least for a little while. It didn't take long for an interested party to hunt down information about the MapleChange team, which was apparently not readily available. The person(s) created a Twitter account to doxx the former CEO.
This may have caught the exchange's attention. A little over five hours after abruptly saying it was shutting down, @MapleChangeEx was back and wanted everyone to know that it hadn't really gone anywhere:
The exchange has since gone into a bizarro version of damage control. It posted an invite to a Discord chat room, but ETHNews found the link to not work. Then, it said it was handing over any remaining altcoins it had to the developer teams, not the individual owners, placing the burden for refunds on individual projects. Unsurprisingly, the general reaction to this on Twitter was sour.
So far, MapleChange has stuck by its story that all the bitcoin and Litecoin is gone, but has yet to publish any information about what it is calling a hack. The website remains down, and the exchange has not posted anything on Twitter since stating that a trio of low-cap altcoins had been returned, including Turtlecoin.
Apparently, Turtlecoin didn't get the coins supposedly being sent its way.
No one should be holding their breath.