Cryptocurrency exchange CoinBene took to Twitter today, March 27, to comment on a string of recent tweets suggesting the exchange's wallet maintenance was actually a cover-up for a possible hack. According to CoinBene's tweet, the exchange's maintenance was nothing more than a wallet security upgrade, but the team has yet to answer some of the questions raised during its downtime.
On March 26, CoinBene explained that its deposit and withdraw functions would be down while the platform upgraded its wallet services. However, CoinBene's explanation only came in response to a user claiming their deposit transaction had been pending for hours, fearing the delay was the result of the exchange having experienced a hack.
Adding more fuel to the fire, Nick Schteringard, who writes for the Russian crypto media outlet Forklog, commented on the exchange's "strange activity," citing unnamed CoinBene users who claimed their wallets were hacked, with funds being deposited to two addresses. One of the two addresses Schteringard linked to in the tweet featured a large amount of Maximine Coin and CoinBene Coin being actively withdrawn. According to Schteringard, the Maximine Coin was then being sold on the cryptocurrency exchange EtherDelta for 10 times cheaper than the coin's worth.
CoinBene's response on Twitter makes no mention any strange activity detailed in Schteringard's tweets while the exchange was under maintenance. CoinBene does clarify that its update to the exchange's wallets was in response to multiple, unnamed exchange users informing CoinBene of a series of crypto asset thefts. The exchange goes on to emphasize that its users' assets are "100% secure" on the CoinBene platform, and that the exchange is prepared to fully compensate any users in the event their assets are stolen.
Despite the apology, and the outline of what was done during its downtime, the transition back to functioning deposit and withdrawal services hasn't been smooth. As of now, the exchange has stated that deposits and withdrawals can only be made for bitcoin, Ether, and Tether, with others set to be opened "asap."
Beyond hacking rumors, CoinBene's peculiar actions were put on blast last week when two representatives from the digital currency index fund provider Bitwise Asset Management claimed that the vast majority of trading volume reported by unregulated exchanges is fake. In its document submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the two Bitwise representatives deemed CoinBene suspicious, calling into question the "perfectly alternating pattern" of crypto trades and purchases on the platform.